Updated: Apr 15, 2020
In the Brazilian language of the Tupi people, Piranha roughly translates to “tooth fish”. They are an extremely aggressive species of fish with razor sharp teeth known for their feeding frenzies, native to the rivers and lakes of South America. In fact, 20 species of Piranha can be found in the Amazon River alone. Piranhas live in groups called a shoal, and it’s a popular belief that these fish travel in groups so that they can overwhelm prey in a choreographed feeding frenzy. As I dive deeper into my research, it starts to make more and more sense to me why Southern California’s new tech-house project, Sour Boys, chose to drop an EP called Piranha as their debut release. Sour Boys is the miraculous love child of Jackson Collective mainstays Fadi and Jesse Angeliss, and they’ve had anything but a quiet start. The duo hit the ground running, dropping their debut track on the most recent installment of Jackson Collective’s Compilation Renegade House, Vol. 1 last year and delivering an incredibly memorable, high-energy set at Jackson Tree Spring Gathering 2019 (a two-night desert renegade the Jackson Collective hosts in the Mohave Desert bi-annually) — they’ve made their presence known, and they’re here to sink their teeth into house fans with their debut EP, Piranha.
The EP finds its home amongst SoCal’s quickly rising House & Techno label, BottomFeeder Records, who boast an impressive list of releases already this year and show no sign of slowing down. Daniel Nish & Scotty Wolf (DJ’s Luxo and Posse Sauce, respectively) started BottomFeeder Records in the Summer of 2018, but even in the early days of 2019 they had already found their footing and had started gaining momentum. With so much going on it’s surprising to think that this new label would have so much planned for the near future, but apparently thats the case. Wolf tells us, “It’s been a journey so far, but we’re just getting warmed up.” Whatever the plan is, the duo certainly has an ear for energetic, fun, groovy dance music and I’m excited to see what they continue to dish out this year. I received the Piranha EP through an e-mail from Wolf for an exclusive early listen and dove right into it like unsuspecting prey into the Amazon River.
The Piranha EP opens with the titular track, Piranha, and it wastes no time getting the party started. This track goes off. Setting the stage for whats to come, the lead vocal (laid down by Jesse Angeliss himself) reminds us repeatedly that we’re in the Amazon now, and upon revealing their true identity, the Sour Boys feeding frenzy begins. The bass smacks and slowly the groovy beat builds and takes the track further into an insanely fun dance floor banger. But that’s just the beginning. Next the EP takes us into Sour Boys infamous vape-inspired anthem titled Where’s My Juul? The song visits an all-too-relatable issue for users of the nicotine product: it always goes missing. Although humorous at first, the constant questioning on the whereabouts of the vocalists Vape Pen slowly becomes hypnotizing and before you realize it, the song drops into a heavy bass-line with all the proper house bells and whistles. It was properly dropped at EDC by tech-house DJ and Jackson Collective brother, Ocean Roulette, and I’m positive it’ll find its home on a multitude of dance-floors by the end of the summer. The track is sure to get any crowd going.
The Piranha EP closes out with a collaboration between Sour Boys and LA-based producer PVJAMVS called Strung Out, and two remixes of the track contributed by Apollo Green and NotTheFather. This track is dirty — the kind of track you start feeling your shoulders bouncing up-and-down to without even noticing. It’s the late-night House party anthem we’ve been waiting for all year. Around the 2 minute mark the song intensifies and drops into an incredibly heavy bass-filled house junction that’ll get your entire body moving. The remixes are terrific too. Apollo Green takes full advantage of the groovy vibe and lays some thick bass over a heavier version of the track with an immensely energetic drop. Turn the bass up for this one and feel your body groove (and can I mention that I absolutely love that kick at 2:32??). Jackson Tree alum NotTheFather closes the EP out with his rendition of Strung Out, which takes the vibe in a completely different direction. This version is darker, and theres an eerie sense of something coming for the first minute and thirty seconds until finally… something comes. The drop for this one is insane. The track is completely transformed into a dark and brooding jaw-dropper and, not to be dramatic, but it kinda feels like it lifts your soul out of your body and raises you above the dance floor until the energy finally dies back down and you can regain control of your senses. Which might sound kind of intense, but I loved every second of it.
In short, The Piranha EP is an impressive debut release from DJ/Producer duo Sour Boys and its safe to say each track will find its way out to decks and speakers and onto dance-floors for a long time coming. It finds its footing amongst an impressive roster of artists and releases curated by BottomFeeder records in the past year and neither force show any signs of dwindling, leaving us waiting and wanting more for now. Aside from Sour Boys, the EP showcases a few other gifted producers and offers up two insanely thicc remixes, wrapping it all up into a deep tech-house set of bangers that are sure to keep your feet moving this summer. I found myself listening to the entire release over and over again and I find little things I like about the songs each time. Some believe Piranha’s move in their shoals as a method of protection from predators, but not Sour Boys. This collection of songs is aggressive, has razor sharp teeth, and has traveled here for a feeding frenzy. They’re ready to sink in their teeth, and I have no problem letting them drag me deeper into the Amazon for a groovy, good time.