Dubstep heavyweights Barely Alive and Virtual Riot have released their VIP project Head to Head Vol. 1 today via Disciple.
The four-song EP sees the artists going back to back with two VIPs each of some of their fan-favorite tracks. Each VIP expands on its original version and takes them to new heights. Hits like Virtual Riot’s “Pray For Riddim” sound as fresh as ever with the new vocal samples and inventive new drop. The second drop of the “Cry Some More” VIP in particular caught my ears immediately with the trap-inspired beat; coupled with Virtual Riot’s signature unique sound design, this is the most exciting track on the EP.
Barely Alive come with reworks of two of their best tracks from 2018’s Odyssey LP that somehow manage to hit even harder than their originals. The title track’s VIP amps up the theatrical qualities to almost humorous levels with the exaggerated new intro, but the drop undeniably hits harder than its previous iteration. “Wompum”‘s original version carried trap influences in the latter half. While I was hoping they’d expand on that idea, these have instead been swapped out for massive, animalistic bass sounds; as a fan of the heavy, it’s a welcome change of pace for the song.
It’s difficult not to love a VIP mix. Seeing the artist rework their own songs should always result in an epic new idea; after all, no one knows these tracks and their nuances better than their creators. Barely Alive and Virtual Riot don’t fail to disappoint on Head to Head. As this is only Vol. 1, it will be exciting to hear what the two have in store for us on Vol. 2. Watch this space.