Chilly downtempo beats upstate New York style
Dan Krakaur, student at SUNY Purchase, a liberal arts college in New York state, has been releasing music for just over a year, with his first official release coming via Youngbloods – a new boutique label focusing on downtempo house and garage.
The project started out in 2014 with a series of three EPs uploaded to Bandcamp. Plenty of Krakaur’s production tics were there from the beginning – soft ambient pads, acoustic touches, heavily processed vocals, and gently loping beats. But the fittingly named ‘Bleak’ EP is on another level. Krakaur’s atmosphere is resolutely nocturnal, though the tone shifts disarmingly between comforting and foreboding; the warm crackling of a fire can swiftly become the cold hiss of the factory. Mostly ambient, there are a couple of more beat-driven tracks such as ‘Bleak 2’, an idiosyncratic take on footwork, with deep bass pulses surrounded by an orchestra of pots and pans.
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Aside from the EP, there’s a few other Krakaur loosies floating around. He’s linked up with Brooklyn MC Yoh The Shaolin, whose smoky voice perfectly laces their joint track ‘Thunder’. Krakaur has also contributed ‘Phantom’ to Youngbloods’ ambient compilation, ‘Hollow Forms’. If you like what you’ve heard so far, the good news is that you won’t have to wait too long for more material. Youngbloods are planning a Krakaur full-length for early 2016. For such a new label, they already have a remarkably well-defined aesthetic, and Krakaur is leading the way.
‘Bleak’ is out on Youngbloods