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Iceboy Violet’s ‘Drown to Float’ EP Sets Moody Trap Music Adrift

The Manchester artist's latest reimagines of-the-moment hits as soothing, nostalgic ambience.

Our newest series ‘Top Notes’ considers the latest releases through layers of musical nuance. Similar to tasting a dish or smelling a perfume, the work is evaluated in a stream of consciousness: Top notes refer to striking first impressions, middle notes to the core character of the work, and base notes to the work’s long-lasting take-aways.

Top notes
Ambient trap loops, warped melodies, DJ Lostboi
Middle notes
Hallucinogenic, nostalgic, drifting, wisps of smoke
Base notes
Deeply emotional ambient for stopping time and sitting with recent memories.

On their new project, Iceboy Violet sets out to “bring you some calm.”

In the past, Iceboy Violet’s releases, like Mook, released in 2018 on London’s TT (A.K.A. Tobago Tracks), have been centered around a distorted, confrontational re-imagination of UK club music that “re-appropriates the energy, emotionality and resistance of grime music to challenge heteronormativity and toxic masculinity.”


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But on their new EP, Drown to Float, the Manchester-based artist delivers a striking set of edits that stretch rap’s moody pads and hallucinogenic melodies into lush ambient. Inspired by DJ Lostboi—a malibu side project where trance classics and trap are dragged out into hazy passages—Drown to Float injects tracks by artists like Chicago drill legend Lil Durk and country-trap up-and-comer RMR with dense reverb and emotional weight. It pulls out the drama in every crooning ad-lib from Young Thug or underlying guitar riff from Gunna—and it turns “Drip Too Hard” into something weightless and passionate.

Listen to the release above, and support the project via Iceboy Violet’s Bandcamp—where profits from the release will be split between the UK QTIBIPOC Emergency relief & Hardship Fund and a GoFundMe for a friend of the artist’s top surgery.

Published June 24, 2020. Words by Zach Tippitt, photos by @_tsenko.