DNMO & Sub Urban - Broken

15-year old producer delivers nocturnal heartbroken future bass music for lonely dancefloors on “Broken.”

It might be argued that no one understands loneliness & alienation like a teenager. Whether it’s the devastating hormonal rush of puberty or the often soul-killing process of socialization happening during that time, 15-year-olds do angsty like nobody’s business. Or maybe we just become jaded and immunized to the small compromises, as our hearts are slowly sanded down to dust. Either way, rising producer DNMO is here to remind us of the confusion and uncertainty of teenage years with “Broken,” featuring the velvet vocals of New Jersey’s Sub Urban.



Electronic music is not always the most obvious choice for comfort or connection, at least traditionally. 21st Century electronic music frequently leans into the dark side of the dance floor, as often as the big room euphoric rush of mainstream EDM, and often more successfully. Given electronic music’s largely interchangeable, anonymous nature, having a bit of heart to hook the listener can make for mainstream crossover appeal. It certainly seems to be in the stars for DNMO, especially given their young age.

soundcloud “Broken” deals in broken post-dubstep, with creaking, crackling 2-step beats, giving way to infectious acid-riddled Glitch Hop, all serving as a smooth, obsidian foundation for Sub Urban’s slightly detached vocals. Not only does the combo bode well for DNMO’s career, it also redeems a few languishing genres in the meanwhile. Dubstep is largely dead, at this point, killed out with over-eager bass droppers, but DNMO and Sub Urban remind us of the thrilling chemical rush of heavy bassweight. DNMO also trades in a kind of Glitch Hop, pioneered by The Glitch Mob and its individual components. Glitch Hop seemed to have bogged out and run out of ideas a few years ago. DNMO injects the genre with a strong vitamin booster, suggesting the mixture of mellow beats and lo-fi acid synths is not yet dormant.

“Broken” is a dancefloor banger for romantic hearts and lonely souls. Sub Urban wonders if he’s terminally damaged, on “Broken”’s catchy chorus. That may be - we’ll withhold judgement here at We Are: The Guard. It’s easier to feel less damaged when dancing with 100 of your messed-up friends.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.