Album 101: Hex Cougar Breaks Down His Labels “Alter/Ego Volume 1” Compilation

Hex Cougar has built a unique fanbase over the past 6 years with his sinister and mystique persona. His ability to produce emotionally-charged and genre-bending music has earned Hex Cougar over 70 million streams across platforms to date, where the LA-based producer has also been supported by the likes of Diplo, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, DJ Snake, Baauer, The Chainsmokers, Jauz, among many others. As an artist who is at the forefront of the burgeoning underground dance scene, Hex Cougar has continuously produced forward-thinking and genre-bending music.

Now that Hex Cougar has established his own footprint amongst industry elites while also remaining loyal to his core fanbase, he wants to create a special community where like-minded, boundary-pushing artists can come together to share ideas and new music. Thus, Alter/Ego was born, and alongside the imprint comes his first-ever label compilation album, featuring 13-tracks spanned across various genres such as experimental bass, trap, DnB, wave, dubstep, indie electronic, and more. With all that being said, what better way to pinpoint the significance of this compilation than to hear it from the curator himself. Hear the story of how Hex Cougar put this all together in the track-by-track breakdown below.

Hex Cougar, Lemay – Aubade

“Lemay sent me the initial idea for this track, and I instantly fell in love with it. I think it does a good job of being melodic and having emotional undertones while also being super energetic and hard as hell, it’s a perfect example music that resonates with me for Alter/Ego.”

RemK – Surface Wave

“What really drew me to this track is how unique and forward thinking it is. While most modern trap music is pretty maximalist, RemK relies on the use of this really minimal sort of pulsating sub with a noise layer on top that feels like an earthquake rippling through your entire body. This song absolutely HONKS on a good sound system.”

Heimanu – Nerva

“Heimanu is one of my favorite producers right now because he does such a great job of balancing emotion and melody with super heavy, visceral synths, and this track is a perfect example of that. I also love how just when you think the drop is done, it changes up completely and keeps on blasting you with energy. It’s unexpected, dark, melodic, emotional, and heavy, all in one package.”

False Color – Impulse

“Another super unique bass music track. The vocal chop right at the drop is so catchy and immediately draws you in. What’s really dope about this track is that the first drop doesn’t really rely on repeating synth patterns, instead choosing to constantly shift form and introduce new sounds as it progresses. Despite this, everything still sounds extremely cohesive and hard-hitting, and getting all those ideas to fit together is what made this stand out to me.”

Malixe – Obsidian

“This track is an absolute wild journey. It starts off as a drum and bass track, morphs into a hard techno track, and then finishes off with a trap/bass drop that clobbers you over the head. Malixe’s sound design is next level, and this song is a weapon in any set.”

Deadcrow – Overdose

“One of the heaviest tracks I’ve ever heard. I initially discovered Deadcrow through his more melodic, wave-influenced music, but as soon as I heard this song, I knew it had to be a part of the compilation. If it weren’t for COVID, I feel like this song would be getting rinsed out at every major festival and in every bass DJ set around the world.”

Hollow – Wasting Away

“To me, this song feels like the perfect comedown after Overdose. It starts off super mellow before exploding into a symphony of anguish and emotion. It’s beautiful and unique and weird in just the right way. Hollow is an artist I’m really, really excited about right now, and I can’t wait to see how his sound continues to develop.”

jordnmoody – STSD

“This track does a really great job of being trippy and experimental and heavy while also being bouncy and fun. The vocal chop that repeats throughout is an ear worm and feels like the kind of lyric that you and your homies all yell in unison while throwing your hands up in the air when the song comes on at a show.”

Low Poly – Unthink

“Low Poly has some of the best percussion in the game, and this track proves that. That coupled with the super catchy pluck that repeats throughout the drops and an infectious UK Grime sample as a pre-drop vocal make Unthink an absolute gem.”

Enjoii – Losing My Mind (ft. luna moon)

“I discovered Enjoii only fairly recently, which I’m kinda mad about because his music is amazing. He’s making some of the best wave music out right now, brilliantly balancing melody and emotion and hard hitting synths. luna.moon’s vocals round out the track perfectly, adding a bit of a human element while not being cheesy or overbearing. This one is just sheer emotional power and I can’t get enough of it.”

SADRN – Feel Alright

“SADRN is another producer I only discovered recently – in fact, my first introduction to his music was through a demo he sent to my email. This track is definitely more mellow than a lot of the other tracks on the compilation, but it’s such a feel good song and does a great job of wrapping everything up as the 2nd to last song, providing a feeling of closure/resolution. Alter/Ego isn’t just about heavy music and I wanted to make sure the compilation represented another side of the sounds I like.”

BWRE – Gutter

“Everything about this song is just awesome, from the nostalgic guitar riff to the left-field drop that sounds kinda like future bass but way better to the emotional outro. It’s a perfect send-off for the whole compilation. This is BWRE’s first ever official release on his own too, so proud to be able to present that to the world but even more excited that his first track is this great.”

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