Mickey Dagger is the, electronic-laden, goth ‘technoir’ post-punk moniker of Montreal-based Italo disco/EBM producer Taylor “Hoodlum” Stevenson, with an EP “Daeva” in 2015 on Giallo Disco Records under his belt, who is just released his debut 4-track EP “Street Survival” accompanied by the video for the title track featuring Athena.
An ominous vibrational force awakens sleepy sinister synths as calmingly anxious high pitched whistling howls blow into low reverb drenched fade decay echoes and thin monochromatic effective beats creating a low key ambient backdrop for confident, detached, devil may care contentious vocals regarding life as a street hustler. Searing synth drones meticulously pierce the ambiguous cocky, excited, and fearless vocals as steady machinated light galloping back beats carry a desirous danceable rhythm playing in a disco near you.
An honest account of life on the streets trying to survive reveals a painful existence filled with loss, betrayal, and prejudice. Seemingly unfazed by the unjustified mistreatment the police inflict and watching friends literally stab each other in the back for money leaves no one safe and causes tension of fear-drenched in numb denial. Awareness that only, “one in a few will reach the jackpot first,” and the belief of existential destiny perpetuates the extreme culture of violent chaos leaving nowhere to hide.
The accompanying video, directed by Hart Less and featuring Athena, is a dramatic representation of a night in the life of Mickey Dagger set against the backdrop of a busy urban downtown block aglow in flashing lights, sirens, and conflict. Headlights as far as the eye can see head into the centre of the bustling city as a couple dressed to kill head down an alley into the streets of the chaotic asphalt jungle ready for hustle. Cast in a green hue the armed and tense couple navigate through hostile police barricades, inebriated indwellers, and uncomfortable acquaintances finding violence, death, and danger at every turn. It’s not long before their luck runs out leaving one in handcuffs and the other lying on the ground.
An action-packed short film combines visually poetic prose with tough unaffected vocals to give an interesting play by play of the OG lifestyle including the sentiments behind the predestined mentality held in this dark and tragic gripping slice of life portrayal.
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