PlayPlay: Invocation


KnightWerk Records; July 26

If you step on local dancefloors regularly, then you’ve no doubt encountered the fast-paced, high-energy, UK-rave-redolent music of PlayPlay, a Party Illegal mainstay who moved to New York last year but still considers Durham their second home. (Catch them at a Pinhook party August 24.) 

PlayPlay’s breakbeat-happy live vibe, which you might call progressively classic, is in full effect on their second EP, Invocation. A vivacious four-track snack, it suggests what nostalgia for nineties house, jungle, and hardcore (the techno kind, not punk) might feel like to future cyborgs, who can dance much faster than we can. 

The EP casts its gleeful spell with Bored Lord coproduction “Witchcraft,” where the filter-swept title gets an aerobic workout, dodging around the impact zone of a Godzilla-footed bass. Solo production “Beep Me” is a cold, steely touchtone hymn for the ghosts of pagers, while “Truromance” modulates to warmth, playful and French-twisted with gasps, giggles, and snakebite hats. 

All these effervescent energies ignite in “Protection,” with T5UMUT5UMU, where we outrun an apocalyptic wave of ring-mod shrieks and coiled arps before it goes full-on Blade Runner, dropping briefly into a dewy human register before rampaging back into the cyborg utopia with renewed force. Favoring clean lines and crisp transitions over studio shenanigans, Invocation is party-ready—as social as Riggs’s music is private, but just as personally distinct.

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