“Fist” finds a unique balance between mesmerizing and abrasive — locked in a steady drum groove with one synth swirling languidly while the other whirrs with a relentless fury. Vega’s vocals, drenched in echo, add another hypnotizing layer to the song.
In a statement, Vega’s frequent collaborator and partner Liz Lamere said of “Fist,” the “relentless forward movement of the music coupled with Vega’s battle cry lyrics makes it a powerful call for action to the people to muster their power, come together and make one nation. The message is timely, the impact timeless.”
Jared Artaud, another close friend and collaborator who helped compile Mutator, added: “Alan Vega was an architect of sound. ‘Fist’ reveals the album’s archetypal sonic framework of balancing intensity with calm. Music you can meditate to or blast during a protest march. Vega was a champion of the underdog. His lyrics inspire strength for the individual to rise up and destroy those destroying us. ‘Fist’ sets Mutator into motion with Vega’s ‘no notes’ mantra and blistering poetic truths that balance a dark vision with hope.”
“Fist” marks the second offering from Mutator, following “Nike Soldier,” which arrived in February (the song wasn’t exactly new, as an earlier version of the track was released in 2015). Mutator comprises recordings that Vega made with Lamere in New York City between 1995 and 1996. Lamere and Artaud discovered the tapes in 2019, then set about mixing and producing them for Mutator.
Mutator will be the first in a series of archival releases from Vega’s vault, which will arrive via Sacred Bones. Lamere and Artaud are helming the project with creative director Michael Handis.