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|04 September 2017||
Stave - Black Hills
Jonathan Krohn a.k.a. Stave follows the brilliant Battle Standards EP from Talker on Standards & Practices with his own Black Hills EP, bringing his sound back to more familiar territory after the hard, industrial techno of After The Social, released on Repitch Recordings in 2015.
Futurist, tribal bass drums power up the opener and title track Black Hills, driving it through post apocalyptic wastelands like an out of control juggernaut, while filtering in sharp hats and snares that strike glancing blows against a foreboding backdrop of distressed, icy horns and spookily detached, almost dehumanized vocal distortions. Krohn shakes the earth on its axis next with the brutal Tasc Us, where the eruption never ends, metallic screeching and throbbing electro pulses permeate the crushing wall of rumbling bass that has more than enough distortion to create the feeling that it could all come crashing down on top of you at any moment, a quite unique synthesis of seismic devastation. In Human definitely lives up to the name, the slower paced beats paired with heavy industrial harmonics give proceedings a menacing perspective; meanwhile, thick, acrid, and black as night, droning synths give the track a distinct, otherworldly ambiance that instills a disconcerting sensation which inevitably leads to bare dread. On penultimate track B5, there's a hint of militaria in the percussion—hard, reverberating kicks and woody snares somehow restore order in the wake of the chaos left behind from the three previous tracks; Krohn expertly places acidic blurbs that punctuate noisy heavyweight chords, creating a calming, yet almost hyper-tangible alertness in a scary and unfamiliar landscape. In a dream-, or perhaps nightmare-like fashion, Stave 17 rounds the EP off perfectly: a roughly textured kick drum and relentless electro pulsations charge the atmosphere, giving rise to fractured, eerie harmonies in a slow-motion, post-dubstep trip to hell and back.
As if it were ever in doubt, Krohn delivers impeccably on Black Hills EP. It's an unnerving journey through a bleak and quite terrifying world that is as enthralling as it is uncompromising, often industrial in tone and blindly dark. Undoubtedly, not only does it make a fine listening experience, but also a challenging tool for both the DJ and his floor, Black Hills EP certainly deserves a place amongst the best EPs of 2017.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 04 September 2017
Release Format: Digital • Vinyl
Record Label • Catalog: Standards & Practices • STANPRAC002