Written by Lauren Rosier
The German Desktop Doom artist, K4LT (spoken pronunciation: ‘kalt’; German for ‘cold’), has created a collection of five atmospheric tracks that span genres from ambient electronica, post-rock, to alternative, Doom-metal, and post-punk.
The opening track, “Boarding Pass,” is an electronic, post-punk track that is dark, ominous, and haunting, while also being incredibly catchy at the same time. There’s a decent hip-hop backing track with a few places of falsetto vocals. That’s about it. K4LT makes it sound effortless. Honestly, it’s incredibly artistic with layers upon layers of varied elements of ambient electronica and post-punk.
The second song on the extended play is titled “Loading Screen…” and blends the strumming of the guitar with the vocals of K4LT. The opening of the song kind of reminds me of the opening of another song from the 90s alternative rock scene. The track is very chill and melodic with mainly the guitar. The deep strum of the guitar at 2:00 layered over K4LT‘s vocals is almost haunting. Then, you can hear the guitars begin to growl, as the reverb takes over. I love the effect it has on the guitars and how it gives the song such a grungy sound.
The next song on the EP I love. “Ahead // Back,” has such different elements to it throughout the song. The foundation of the track is basically a hip-hop drum backing track with some synths layered over top and vocals, but the other sounds that K4LT incorporated into the track with Ableton are incredible. Sure, it’s different than what most people would define as an “instrument”; however, it’s artistry. It’s phenomenal. So incredibly unique and nothing like I’ve heard before.
“Fugae” is an electronic track with varying elements of genres and textures that take the listener on an unbelievable journey. When listening to these tracks, it’s incredible how intricate and detailed they are. The artistry and innovation behind each of the songs inspire me to begin a creative project of my own.
A note from the artist, K4LT:
‘Endgame’ is the antithesis to a debut album – it’s an exhausted commentary about regularly finding yourself in an ominous state, trying to make sense of that and then getting back on your feet. There’s no alternative but to move forward as there’s great moments in life and the music also depicts that. It just seems that gravity on this planet seems to always increase. However, I’m still an optimist and there’s many good things happening every day and isn’t that something to wake up for?
Synths really play a big part in ‘Endgame.’ I was always guitar focused but wanted to move away a bit from classical, guitar driven songwriting. Don’t get me wrong, a great riff is awesome but on most songs, the purpose of the guitar is to layer the “despair” within the song instead of dominating its structure.
Composing with Ableton really changed my approach to songwriting. Now, I always start out with tiny loops and then try to make sense of it. I guess the nights in Berlin’s techno bunkers also made me appreciate repetitive patterns a lot more.
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