CD: KRTS - The Dread of an Unknown Evil | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: KRTS - The Dread of an Unknown Evil
Can post-dubstep electronica find its own drama?
Another week, another album of music with dubstep's soundsystem heft, an indie sense of melancholia, and skyscraping electronic orchestrations that seem to hark back to the most grandiose experiments of 1980s acts like The Cocteau Twins and Echo & The Bunnymen as much as to anything in the club music canon. Stubborn Heart, Stumbleine and Planas, and in a more subdued form Madegg, Kyson and Memotone, all to some degree hit this vein of sound.
This kind of blurry area between electronica and indie songwriting has been made extremely popular by SBRTKT, James Blake and The xx, but there still isn't a name for the style. No matter, there's a huge confidence to this release that suggests that KRTS is very much at home in this zone, rather than experimenting or darting between genres. Although most of these tracks begin with startling sparsenses and weirdness, they frequently take flight. Indeed, listening to the surging chord progressions of "Breathe With Me" or "Retreat to Regret", you can easily imagine lasers firing across a festival field just as if Coldplay were giving it their all on stage.
Thankfully, though, there's none of the mithering self pity nor the wilfully awful vocals of the Coldplay-Keane-Snow Patrol generation of indie; where there is singing, from a trio of guest vocalists, it's soulful and intense, but never showboating, instead treated as another instrument and woven into the textures of the tracks. So Jon Hairston's falsetto on "Something New" and Stevee Wellons's abstracted wail on "Your Eyes" sail between the abstract crackles and ballooning bass tones with real elegance. This album - along with the aforementioned - may suggest an indie-electronica future, but there's far more to it than just an update of guitar band miserablism or an application of electronic production to standard songwriting: it is a gorgeous, immersive environment that you'll find yourself wanting to inhabit more and more.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
It's music you've heard before, but it never sounded like this
Noisy Americans produce a feral blues masterpiece
Album number three from hip hop's controversial pop empress
A festive launch for our regular vinyl reviews
The album of the year was released TODAY? Better believe it...
John Grant’s past catches up with him
Amongst a plethora of whip-smart releases Nick Mulvey's debut wins out
Retro-futurist nostalgia proves a festive treat with the Human League
An open Swedish mind and well-tuned ear creates a Christmas soundtrack of sumptuous eclecticism
Jolly festive folk concert from Fairport Convention's annually recurring spin-off
What does Christmas with the funk legends sound like? Any other day…
Exclusive images from the Sing Blue Silver tour 30 years ago