EXPORT, the sophomore album from UK electronic duo, RAP fuses elements of trip-hop, house and new wave to become something greater than the sum of its parts. The album largely engulfs the listener in spaciousness. Although the pulse of every track is vibrant, there’s nothing superficial driving it forward; only the looming tension of kinetic energy. 

Largely unknown until the release of this record, RAP’s mysterious emergence is largely intriguing. EXPORT’s opening track ‘Baptism’ appeals to this allusion, likening the act to something familiar yet unparalleled. Starting with an industrial beat, ‘Baptism’ grows into a metallic and synth-heavy drone that despite having a 7-minute long runtime, the track never drags.

EXPORT builds gradually over each track, not rushing any element of its sound. It’s not until the third track, ‘Young Persuasion’, that vocals are even largely evident. While they and the sampled sound of a helicopter may appear jarring, it’s a reflection of the abruptness of modern urban life. The fusion of so many conflicting genres can only evoke such a contemporary thrill.  Likewise, ‘Static’ abruptly concludes with a flurry of public transport related noises. It’s these sharp detours that balances out the ominous trip-hop with a more human element.

The space between tracks that are emotive, particularly the album closer ‘NSEW Ravers’. The creeping grunge of ‘Mad Friday’s transition from an oppressive, almost shoegaze wall of noise into the straight forward house groove of ‘No Mixer’ makes it clear how much RAP can experiment in only eight tracks.

RAP’s EXPORT is vibrant and ambiguous yet a precise and methodical record. It’s this that separates it from so many other projects. EXPORT’s detachment from genre and instead, attachment to the flow of a conceptual genre-less form truly makes it unique. With EXPORT under their belt, it’ll be exciting to see where RAP takes their sound next!