Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Stave - Reform

Courtesy of the Flinco Sound System imprint, who are responsible for great releases from Locrian, Wrnlrd and Haptic, comes Stave. Stave is the solo project of Jonathan Krohn, who's previous projects I'm unfamiliar with, but I am really enjoying this release.

Sonically, Stave deals in dark, cold, industrial-infused techno. Highly repetitious, Stave's drum patterns clatter like pieces of rebar dropped through the steel girders of some half-abandoned skyscraper. Kick drums echo through concrete basements, and synths coat everything in gradient of ever-darkening grays. Everything is gritty, soaked in reverb and delay, and is sounds like Krohn set up his gear in an abandoned construction site at midnight, cranked the volume and hit record.

"Tower9," one of the more aggressive tracks here, employs a sinister drum beat amidst some highly distorted blasts of bass, before Krohn masterfully drops everything, leaving the listener with only a ghostly synth line.

At only 7 tracks, the tracks of Reform cover a fair bit of ground. The shimmering, channel-jumping hi-hats and concussive kicks on "Stave" are nearly dubby, while the glacial "Disc1" nearly forgoes rhythm, save for some minimal clicks, for gorgeous, forboding, droning synths. Though even at it's most serene, tension is never far away. Krohn's skill as a producer and attention as a sound designer is something he's clearly been sharpening for quite a while, but his ability to ratchet up the tension and shroud everything in a bleak, dead-of-night industrial landscape is what I find most engrossing. Perfect for making your walk home tonight infinitely more harrowing and snapping the summer humidity.

Stave is released by Flingco Sound System, though it appears they have already sold out. Perhaps keep your eyes peeled on Experimedia for some copies to show up. I know I will.