454, SURF GANG – ‘FAST 5’ (EP)

454‘s interesting, bubbly and inexplicably curious sound have always been something that’s drawn me to his work.

Whether it was his debut mixtape, 4 REAL (2021), being featured on the homepage of Frank Ocean‘s HOMER site or the high-pitched vocal slides and iridescent beats on FAST TRAX 3 (2022)the Orlando alt-rapper has an affinity for mesmerizing listeners on first spin.

Linking up with prolific production collective SURF GANG, who continues its “surf gang summer” through a string of fiery releases, 454’s new EP, FAST 5, is perhaps the most tangible project in his small yet potent catalog. Short and sweet, the 5-track outing sees the Florida phenom skate over shimmering SURF GANG-produced bangers fit for festival performances. Captained by Evilgiane — the “evil genius” behind “The Hillbillies” with Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem, Earl Sweatshirt‘s “Making The Band (Danity Kane),” Matt Ox‘s OXYgen and much more — Eera, Goner and 454 himself, FAST 5 speeds off at the start with an instant hit “ANGEL.” “Like a drug, I love the way you make me feel,” 454 drones over airy, hypnotic synths and a plugg bounce that feels otherworldly, but still hard-hitting.

Most of the EP feels like this: Fleeting like a shooting star on a still night. The previously-released “GANGSTER PARTY” and Sickboyrari-assisted “COBRA” are the most experimental and enticing of the pack. However, anthemic hook-clad cuts (and personal favorites) like “NEXTEL” and “BARBIE” keep pace and level the playing field for 454’s commercial pull.

A master of unpredictability, 454 keeps the pedal to the metal on FAST 5 — no furious.

Listen to ‘FAST 5’ below!