Though the month has only just begun, it's safe to say that Au5 and Fractal's new EP, Secret Weapon, is in the running for the best electronic music release of December. Opening with “Blue,” this new-school drum ‘n bass/drumstep tune pairs a powerful and viciously-oscillated “laser” synth lead along with plucky secondary synths to ensure that the melody doesn't become an afterthought. The pad break in the middle gives you a moment to catch your breath before the next drop knocks the wind right out of you again. The second song, “Dreaming,” switches into a less-intense gear. This house track is outfitted with a groovy bass-line, delicate vocals, and the organic chimes of the bells ring in an uplifting feel to the song. The song hits its apex of energy at 2:00, where the bass gets heavy, and some glitch sounds get thrown into the mix to give the track some bite. Next up on the EP is “Secret Weapon,” and this dubstep track brings things back into a heavy gear. The vocals act as the primary source of melody, while the mighty laser synth and the rumbling bass give the song its strength. Just like in “Blue,” the song goes into a break, where the pads and synths add the prog/trance elements to this dubstep song akin to a Seven Lions or Gemini production — and it's no surprise that Au5 and Fractal would include this element. The final song on the EP, “Smoke,” begins as a deep house track — stocked with a haunting lead melody, a deep bass-line, and a delayed & reverbed bell that promotes the negative space in the track. At the buildup, the arpeggiated synth climbs up higher in octaves and in volume, which then drops into a powerful, glitch-happy electro-house tune. This track is a great example of how the power of heavy glitch sounds can harmoniously walk hand-in-hand with the sublime melodies of a song. Overall, every song on this EP succeeds in being interesting and satisfying, and is a fantastic display of Au5 and Fractal's talent.

The EP can be purchased at Monstercat's music store and at Beatport