Friday 11 March 2016

Review: Khraken – 'Subliminal Seduction'

'Subliminal Seduction'

Canada's Khraken may only have been around since 2012 but as the new release 'Subliminal Seduction' demonstrates, the project has quickly established itself as a formidable dance act. Incorporating elements of ebm, techno and house, Khraken comfortably straddles the avant garde construction of Aphex Twin as well as the dance floor ready style of Front 242 in an efficient and near minimal way.

The EP is all instrumental and has a warm analogue feeling throughout. But the songs grab and hold your attention with ease. The opener 'Terms' swirls and meanders around a central beat in a way that is reminiscent of a stripped-back Juno Reactor. 'Trespass' follows on with a glitchy lead and a far more forceful central beat that recalls early industrial dance crossovers and has a much stronger dance presence. 'Cells' goes into a more avant garde territory in terms of its lead synths that sounds like early Aphex Twin playing with ideas over a strong dance beat. 'America' returns to the glitchy lead and combines it with a nice ebm beat for a subtle but nonetheless addictive dance track. The final offering on the EP, 'Documents', closes the proceedings nicely with a more ambient sense of space present in the mix and that minimal take on Juno Reactor vibe revisited for a cool way to finish the album off.

The production is strong, simple and clear. It is an album that does exactly what it needs to do, balancing warm analogue sounds with crisp modern execution. Each song on the EP shows off the full range of Khraken's technical ability, but the final track 'Documents' stands out with a more cinematic sense of space created that would also have fared well on some of the other songs.

This is a strong EP for fans of old school sounds. The ebm, industrial, techno and house influences of the late 80s and early 90s are prevalent throughout. But there is no sense that this dates the songs in anyway. They still feel fresh and modern, and are executed with precision. Khraken will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for over the next few years.  

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