Most of us discovered Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes via her standout feature on Grimes’ Art Angels single “Scream,” and we’ve been fortunate since to see her break out further on her own solo songs. Last year she dropped two Will Butler-produced one-offs, “3001 — A Space Disco” and the other untitled. Now Aristophanes has announced a new full-length mixtape slated for release next month, alongside the snarling title-track “???? (Humans Become Machines),” which sees her connecting once again with Grimes.
From the menacing undercurrent to Aristophanes gnarly delivery, right down to the two-and-a-half minute runtime, the song’s structure is reminiscent of the pair’s previous collaboration, although the mood is one of murky peril rather than the ferocious intimidation of “Scream.” Even without being able to understand what Aristophanes is saying, she’s still immensely terrifying, if not more so — her intuitively mocking flow dances over a taunting whistle melody and industrial war drums. All the different ways she naturally contorts her vocals, and how rapidly she does so, bending words into makeshift sharp edges, is simply stupefying to experience. You should do so below.
???? (Humans Become Machines) is out 2/24 via Big Picnic Records.