Dark Electronic Music Duo Ex-Hyena Debut Dance-Driven Video for the MORIS BLAK Remix of “Spiral Down”

The mess we’re in feels like deep love

In the grand tragicomedy of human affection, one might ponder—why must love, that most capricious of emotions, be as perplexing as a Rubik’s Cube rearranged in the dark? The conundrum of nurturing bonds with those to whom our hearts are most tethered, a task both maddening and magnificently fulfilling, is the very meat and mead of Ex-Hyena’s latest offering. Spiral Down. Their sophomore single from A Kiss of the Mind, the band’s first release through Re:Mission Entertainment, dances on the knife-edge of ecstasy and agony. This throbbing leviathan of a track, now further transmogrified by MORIS BLAK’s industrially-tinged, delightfully anarchic remix, invites us to a ball where the music is as richly layered as the human heart itself.

In Spiral Down, Reuben Bettsak and Bo Barringer of Ex-Hyena craft a dystopian banger, plunging listeners into the vortex of our tumultuous present—a blend of reality and the collective anxiety about what the future holds. This track is a deep dive into a kaleidoscopic web of introspection, weaving through doubt, confusion, yearning, and solitude, yet also finding moments of illumination, contrast, and allure. Under Barringer’s production and mixing, with Adam Stillson’s mastering touch at Decade Music Studio, Spiral Down emerges as a powerful opener in the band’s current live repertoire. The track showcases Ex-Hyena’s dynamic range through swirling keyboard layers, deep, resonant bass, and driving, hypnotic rhythms, fully embodying their dark energy.

Spiral Down is a journey, it feels more expansive,” says Barringer. “At the beginning of the track, it starts out in a much brighter and bouncier place than anything we’ve recorded, but as it continues it goes deeper and deeper into the menace.”

“One of the main reasons we make music and art is that it’s therapeutic and healing,” adds Bettsak. “Through a song or story, we can attempt to process very complex things in our lives…The lyrics-’In molten love I found your kisses, where shadows form and for the season. It feels like pain, it feels like pleasure,’ explore the ying/yang at the root of love….I think love is beautiful and ghastly at the same time. I think it’s ultimately worth it, but can sometimes feel like a deep pit of chaos and confusion. And it’s not just love with people close to us, but also in regards to love of ourselves.”

The MORIS BLAK remix elevates the track to new heights with its intense, high-energy beats that not only allow the melodies to stand out but also showcase the distinctive flair of the MORIS BLAK universe. Accompanying this is a music video directed by Bettsak, featuring dancer Ava Grebe. Through her expressive and dramatic dance movements, Grebe embodies the dual themes of pleasure and pain that are central to the song. Set against the visual projections by JST-N, her performance—spinning, twirling, and shaking—captures the intricate dance of love’s contrasting emotions, bringing the music’s underlying narrative to life.

Watch the video for the Moris Blak remix of “Spiral Down” below:

Since its inception in 2020, surfacing through the haze of a global pandemic and illuminated by the city’s darkest corners, Ex-Hyena has delivered a steady and prolific beat across underground dance floors, with two albums (2021’s Artificial Pulse and 2022’s Moon Reflections), a remix album (2023’s Moon Reflections Remixed), a handful of singles and EPs, and collaborations with Control I’m Here, Hororhaus, BlakLight, Pleasure Policy, Jackson VanHorn, Denial Waits, Blood Handsome, The Mystic Underground, Maduro, and others.

From here, the beat rolls on, and Ex-Hyena’s future-noir styling would not be complete without a look ahead. A Kiss of the Mind is slated for early 2024 release, and will see the band playing many shows in support of the album.

“A lot of the songs from A Kiss of the Mind, including ‘Spiral Down’, deal with the challenge of communicating with one another,” says Betsak. “It can be so hard to understand each other even when we know each other so well. It can be difficult to understand each other even when we know the same language and this modern world makes it even harder with all the distractions…Essentially, we are just thrilled to share the new album with everyone, work with this great label, play shows, meet great people, and collaborate, because it’s those moments, viewed and absorbed at whatever speed they play out, that shape the world in front of us.”

Follow Ex-Hyena:

Ex-Hyena x Spiral Down Press Release

Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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