by: Asher Norris
October 6, 2018
It’s hard to believe, but the world of electronic music has so far been without the release of more than one track. Even in a landscape awash with quick-hit singles and two-track drops, the momentum the young producer has built on the strength of a full arsenal of remixes, singles, and notorious collaborations has been incredibly impressive nonetheless. Plus, k? D’s track record is polished with a consistency that might arouse envy even among the most seasoned producers. The mysterious beatsmith’s list of accomplishments already reads like a reel of career highlights with tens of millions of tracks on high-level remixed classics by artists like Porter Robinson and Daft Punk, and a handful of cut-throat collaborations. blast with the likes of REZZ and Wolfgang Gartner. And again, never a unified work – until now. Finally, k? D’s highly anticipated debut EP Find paradise arrived.
Seeing six full tracks, marked by the captivating and inspired illustrations of k? D’s anime, Find paradise demands immediate curiosity – after all, k? d generally refuses to be pinned to one genre. That said, k? D’s sound is distinct: grainy, digitally sizzling bass mixed with video game-inspired lead lines and an ear-breaking taste for mid-tempo. But there is also a dizzying expanse of moods and feelings present in the catalog overflowing with the artist’s work. Find paradise manages to capture them all, and much more. The journey begins with an epic and vocal “Electronic Memories”, the only collaboration on the EP, starring Mickey Kojak. The track plunges the listener through the anthemic grandeur the Alt Vision rookie has already shown, though this time he’s holding on tight to a stunning breakdown of funk dripping from a shameless wah-wah pedal. From the start, it’s clear that k? Da pulled out his bag full of stuff for the big occasion.
The surprises immediately continue as “Creator’s Flower” unleashes sizzling drums and bass, topped with shrill old school trance tracks. Wasting time, “Polluted Blood” casts the venom on a characteristic mid-tempo rhythm, with apocalyptic drones and biting bass pinches. Finally, if the first half of Find paradise is an act, its title piece arrives like a madly melodic intermission. A spacious piano line effortlessly oozes into a swelling chorus that shines between cracked 80s drums. The intensity rises in power, but the cold explosions of melancholic chords are constant.
“Tokyo” interrupts the intermission with immediately insistent industrial discord, nailed to a bassline that could sound as if it had been taken straight from Boys Noize’s playbook. Still, there isn’t much that can prepare for the explosive finale of “Destroy The Universe”. The track’s onomatopoeic name lives up to it, creating a turbo-speed rave weapon that shamelessly pierces deep from start to finish. The EP finale traverses a sea of buzzing and ascending synthesized drones, only to finally explode again in a muffled second drop that crowns its debut in a digital adrenaline rush. The first collective project of k? D is a buffet of digital distortions and trance upper lines, unified under a relentless dystopian sound frame. The Common Vein is an exciting addition to the artist’s ever-evolving storyline, as he begins to wield the storytelling power of well-composed extended versions.
Categories: Features, Music