Griff Spex and Slic have shared their first collaborative single, "Going Through It." Griff — who makes production-focused, Stones Throw-adjacent hip-hop — and Slic — whose warped pop songs play like stripped-down miniatures of early Grimes tracks — aren't an immediately obvious pairing. But their new collab capitalizes on their mutual penchant for retrofuturist sounds, resulting in an industrial techno bop unlike anything either of them has produced on their own.
"Going Through It" comes with a music video, premiering above. Director Derek Hernandez takes the viewer on an impressionistic tour of lower Manhattan — from the bridge to the Subway to Wall Street.
Below, Griff and Slic tell The FADER about themselves, their new track, and its visuals.
The FADER: Can you introduce yourselves to our readers? Where are you from, and what inspires you to make music?
Griff Spex: Oye! im Griff Spex from Farrockaway Queens, NY. What inspires me to make music is the growth of truth.
Slic: I was born in Venezuela and have lived in Miami, Western Mass, and NYC. I loved being out at the techno spots in Miami, I was very exploratory growing up. When I lived in small town Mass I found the DIY punk kids. I’m always following the music.
Listening to both of your solo work, it's clear you come from different musical backgrounds. What attracted you to each other's sounds?
Slic: My friend Pedro Bello made an animated video for a demo I had and I posted it. This was back under an old alias, Slicpup. I ended up redoing the song and Griff actually hit me up via DM to ask why I had cleaned it up. He has a really good ear. We eventually met in person and Griff played me unreleased music at which point I freaked out. There is a vault of unreleased Griff Spex music that made me feel like "OK, this person is the future." His sound is so hard and yet he has these amazing pop hooks. That’s an aesthetic we share. We’re both very deliberate about the musical choices we make, so even if we use different palettes, we make it work.
Griff: What attracted me to Slic's music is the whimsical nature of their writing style. I relate to that very much & also how they think. Slic is very down to entertain many ideas like myself which is very important to me, especially in regards to creating.
"Going Through It" is a refreshingly light spin on industrial and techno. Do you have any favorite artists in those genres, past or present? Were you channeling anyone in particular on the new song?
Slic: I love Throbbing Gristle and Nine Inch Nails but I can’t say those were explicit references. Griff asked me how I was and I told him and he said “damn you’re going through it.” I was kinda mad for a second but then he walked me through some philosophical things and the song started from there, from a conversation.
Griff: I was channeling Griff Spex & slic. Nothing particular for reference, I just GO. The simplicity of the lyrics grew into a premeditiation but started off as a conversation. Once a few sounds were layed down between the both of us, I had already seen a loose structure of the track and we went from there :). The nature of this song is a breakthrough.
The video takes us on a little tour of lower Manhattan. How did you and Derek choose the locations where you shot — some of them iconic, some less so?
Griff: Slic and I were looking for an artist to capture us & we were sending profiles back n forth for each other to peep as recommendation. When they sent me Derek's profile and i saw how he was shooting trees in the forest, I instantly knew we needed him lol. Shout out derek — someone i feel very blessed to meet.
Slic: The three of us had been talking about atoms as iconography for this song and I was driving around Wall Street when I saw this random office building with an atom statue out front. It’s technically public property so we used what was around! Everything else was decided on the fly the day we shot.
What's next for y'all?
Griff: Definitely wayyyyyyyyy more music. I will be releasing my debut full length [(LIVE) FROM TRANSMUTATION].
Slic: I have another EP coming in the spring, and we will play a show together at The Broadway [in Brooklyn] on 3/17.