After carving their name on the grilll of dark ambient music, Hamburg’s V I S label recoil the splintered breakbeat assaults of Christoph De Babalon’s Grim Zenith EP to follow up his killer split tape with label co-owner Nina in 2016. Sounding and smelling like it only just escaped from a K-hole c. 2002, the EP coughs up four brittle and spiky mastications of gothic D&B charged with a dank old/mid-skool mentality that recalls what has become lost in translation thru constant cycles of hardcore and D&B regeneration over the years. Its tracks investigate and unlock ginnels of the mind more commonly left undisturbed, prompting phantasmagoric imagery and fight-or-flight responses from its rush of brittle breaks and around each corner of its mazy monotone shadowing, bypassing more common technical trickery in favour of creating and sustaining a mise-en-scene that’s flawless in its representation of unheimlich rave dimensions.Could We Be? leaps from the shadows first with a barrage of kit-drum tics and poison-belly Reese hearkening to Mick Harris’ turbulent Scorn output, setting a tone that carries thru the restless yet disciplined clatter and mystic byzantine drones of Dirge, before the B-side dispatches the belligerent hardcore rhetoric of How Long From Now? with its spirit consuming subbass tarpits and neck-chop drum machine patterns, and then Luxury of Sadness calves off into more spannered breakbeat metrics swarmed by an orchestra of disembodied strings and panicked angel chorales. For sure, this is singular and exceptional stuff, dosed with a rare sort of illness that will inoculate dancers against the brain-rotting fluoride of the mainstream.