Vex started in 2019 as the solo act from Tobias Kastberg, ordinarily playing in the hard-touring electro punk duo (and phenomenal live act) The Guilt. Average minds think alike is his debut album.
The music of Tobias, of VEX, extends boundaries to a point where they blur all of the lines, manifesting a genre and sound that is part and parcel to its own being. We can call it post punk, but it’s danceable, like if Kraftwerk and Devo had a bastard love child that was raised in the industrial wastelands of a once proud blue-collar city. Obscure European synth sounds, unorthodox energetic styles.
VEX is a circus performer on the synths, luring us in with the weird, the strange, the bizarre, so that we can’t look away from it, because it has not just our curiosity, but our full attention. Sealed together in the package deal is the skinny microphone reminiscent of those bad game shows from the 70’s, it is awkward in the best sense, uncomfortable as we face our own anxiety, the buzzer going off, the audience laughing, letting our feet take us dancing away to the throbbing upbeat synth lines, exit stage left.
Some tracks give off fire because of the friction pumped into them, like pistons churning in a steamboat, and the way the different bits work together with each other, rubbing into a piping-hot tear of activity. Other tracks roll along like a smooth Sunday drive, moving at a comfortable pace.
He goes everywhere in-between as well, acting as a tour guide almost, showing us around the madness of the hyperactive neon lights of Shinjoku District Tokyo, submerging us into the chaos, the vortex, the intoxication, this is how it all feels and sounds, it is overwhelming, a sensory overload of the best sorts.
VEX makes you want to wear an all yellow spandex jumpsuit and dance the night away in one second and then, in the next, he asks us to contemplate our deeper inner souls, digging under our nails to find the gunk and shit that has collected there. VEX roughs things up and caresses them, smashing all of it into an incredible picture of excess made exact. THIS is the DIY. It's the postpunk of today. It's the synth and the truth.
2. No connection
4. It’s never too late to give up
5. All I care about is me
6. Don’t change
7. Can of worms
9. You make me sick
10. No soul