Crest

by Bladee & Ecco2k

Released March 17, 2022 via YEAR0001

Reviewed March 29, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Girls Just Want To Have Fun (56%), The Flag Is Raised (55%), 5 Star Crest (4 Vattenrum) (48%)

After what seemed to be another impressive slate of albums to come from the Drain Gang collective in 2021, with The Fool (Bladee), Blue Summer (via frequent collaborator Woesum), and Pxe (Ecco2k), not many were expecting a project quite like Crest. In the midst of their first American tour, Bladee and Ecco2k came together to create perhaps their most expansive collection of work as a duo since Plastic Surgery. Now in a much more whimsical and synth-pop space, the duo builds off of Bladee’s recent work, particularly 333 and EXETER, along with Ecco’s EP, Pxe. The end result includes some of their most impressive songwriting respectively, along with Whitearmor’s production providing a stepping stone further on the path to bliss and euphoria that Bladee’s music has adopted in recent years. The tracklist is incredibly consistent, but equally as dynamic. “5 Star Crest” and “Chaos Follows” are some highlights, not just of this project, but the duo’s collaborative discography. Crest manages to even further open up Drain Gang’s experimentation with electronic pop, and provides the group an even stronger presence in not just their scene, but music entirely. – Ben (Synth) (9/10)


There are two distinct eras to Bladee’s career. One is the hazy, diaphanous atmospheres from Gluee (2014) to Red Light (2018) saturated with reverb and autotune. The other being his streamlined fusions of ’10s art pop and abstract hip-hop beats on Icedancer (2018) through The Fool (2021). Crest is the next step: Bladee & Ecco2k flutter through soaring, silky, wonky instrumentals that feel like a combination of these two discographical phases. Opener “The Flag is Raised” wobbles around steady hi-hat taps like a drunk footballer zig-zagging between cones during practice. Bladee's subtle croons and Ecco’s airy falsetto make it work. This is Crest’s main appeal: A harmony of sharp distortion and smooth ethereal, discussing the sting of desire and the comfort of heaven. Pirouetting rhythms race through an elysian “White Meadow” while Ecco2k looks to the sky, their graceful “la la la”s mimicking a carefree pixie, bathed in life. Meanwhile the second track (in which the album’s title derives) has five movements, each of which scale death at different angles, like nihilism, mourning, or simple acceptance. I suspect this record was recorded two years ago and held back due to the pandemic, or from Bladee wanting to complete this exploration of his more upbeat side. Crest is dedicated to Vattenrum, who passed away in 2019, and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was released the following June, but this is all speculation. Whatever its history, I’m glad Crest is here, with its cutting-edge songwriting and production. – Cam (9/10)


The drained duo of Bladee and Ecco2k strike gold with their shimmering collaborative project Crest. Both are some of the most boundary breaking, forward thinking artists that we have right now and their energy together just shows exactly why. Musically, this mirrors a lot of what Drain Gang has been doing lately. But, Crest focuses so much more on the pop side of things, which gives this a unique profile in each of their discographies. Glaciers of auto-tuned synths gently float through these otherworldly instrumentals, giving them equal feelings of beauty and dissociation. The melodies are extremely unique and all of the details that go into them make them stand out so much from most of contemporary music. Bladee and Ecco2k trade off on a lot of the songs vocally, allowing for not only their individuality to shine but also opening up even further to allow them to work off one another. Crest is an album I haven’t been able to put down since it came out. Plus, seeing them live just makes me want to listen even more. Definitely gonna be high on my albums of the year list. – Jared (8.5/10)


Cam: 9/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10 | Jared: 8.5/10

DeVán: 7.6/10 | Peter: 7/10 | Dominick: 6/10