Monday, February 24th, 2020

Jasmine Sandlas, Garry Sandhu & Tanishk B – Illegal Weapon 2.0

From the soundtrack to Street Dancer 3D which I keep reading as Street Fighter 3D


Alfred Soto: Rather slight for a tune with this sequencer and that woodwind, but the vocalists shout at each other as if something were at stake.

Brad Shoup: I take no pleasure in reporting this, but “2.0” just hits different. The drums punch, the bass hits earnestly dramatic pitches. Even the woodwindy hook gets waxed.

Kylo Nocom: From Fifth Harmony’s “Top Down” to Elvana Gjata and Capital T’s “Fustani” just from last year, fat Mustard synth stabs in pop music are always amazing. Like the aforementioned tracks, “Illegal Weapon 2.0” could have just been its bassline and it would’ve earned my goodwill, but the production’s inability to settle down ends up creating one of the most twisted songs of the year so far: not a single one of the synthesized woodwind loops are the same; every performer has a distinctive take on the same melody; the claps are ear-splittingly high in the mix, as if they could break through the ambient noise of a crowd muttering during a street performance. Yet the song’s best moment remains the trap breakdown at 1:39 — an immediately satisfying bit of release from the song’s constant pulse. A small issue is that the second verse’s recording quality is somewhat iffy, yet how can I complain when the track continues diving into its own filthiness as if it were never an issue in the first place?

Michael Hong: The backing beat should serve the same purpose as it does in reggaeton of anchoring the track, allowing everything around it to jump around, to dance, and to go off on whatever tangent the track desires. Instead, the gunshot noises and unnecessary autotune weigh down the beat. It no longer feels like it’s propelling the track forward but being dragged along.

Joshua Lu: Compared to the original “Illegal Weapon,” the production, here feels more bombastic and thus deadlier — an effective vehicle for a soundtrack song that doesn’t skimp on the dramatics. The slogging, tinny verses underwhelm, however, and their flaws are all the more prominent with the polished backdrop.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Makes the most of its love gun schtick– every second sounds vaguely explosive, and the core loop moves like a sworddancer’s blade. It all feels a little overwrought, but the melodrama and tension work surprisingly well.

Reader average: [9] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Jasmine Sandlas, Garry Sandhu & Tanishk B – Illegal Weapon 2.0”

  1. nice catch kylo. If you’re curious about the synth woodwind loop thing: indian pop has a pretty different structure than its western equivalent, and one of the big differences is breaks between verses where an instrument improvises on the melody – most famously those shrill violins. Britney actually nods towards this style when she punctuates her verses with indian string samples in “Toxic,” one of the many genius things about that song.

    Bolly music’s love of variation is the best thing about the genre, I think … a last refuge from the global tyranny of the western verse-chorus in pop.

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