- The music Nina Kraviz has released through трип, or Trip, has been bleak, blistering and generally devoid of cuddly qualities. That doesn't mean the label's releases—which, save a Bjarki 12-inch from this summer, have all been various-artists compilations—aren't a lot of fun. The sound is pitch-black yet mischievous, and though the producers are occasionally aggressive in their avoidance of easy melody, their tracks can bring a kind of twisted smile to your face. Ivan, Come On! Unlock The Box!, Trip's third compilation, doesn't deviate from that script or push the label further out. But if you've enjoyed Kraviz's selections so far, there's more to love here.
It's hard to choose a standout—the tracks, set to punishing tempos and oozing with trippy sound design, tend to blend together, even a dozen listens in. There are notable earworms, though, like the accidental musicality of a monotone voice uttering the EP title, in Russian, on Philipp Gorbachev's opening cut. Kraviz's own voice makes for another one on "I Believe I Can Fly (KLM Delayed Flight Version)," where a few heavily processed lines lifted from R. Kelly's famous single of the same name (yes, you read that right) warm up a brutally direct drum track. On Nikita Zabelin's "Bells," the titular percussion elements are timbral shapeshifters, swelling before burrowing deep into the mix and re-emerging as stealthy zaps.
Other tracks vie for attention by accentuating their extremes. We get a peculiar sort of youthful vigor from 17-year-old Vladimir Dubyshkin, whose tumble-down synth lines blast at an unwieldy 142 BPM. Roma Zuckerman's "Geburt (Part 2)" is only a hair slower, no doubt dragged down by the heaps of sonic mud thrown onto the mix. Not much more than the outline of a low-end and a faint click make it past. The collection's two Barcode Population tracks, sweat-inducing even through headphones, are the EP's hardest charging, all booming kicks and hands-in-the-air synth loops. But they're reasonably simple pleasures in the context of this collection—another sign that with Trip, Nina Kraviz is on a tear.
A1 Philipp Gorbachev - Ivan, Come On, Unlock The Box / Иван, Давай, Открой Коробку (Kraviz Edit)
A2 K-HAND - The Box
B1 Nikita Zabelin – Bells
B2 Vladimir Dubyshkin - Lose Yourself
C1 Barcode Population - Marduk
C2 Roma Zuckerman - Geburt Part 2
D1 Barcode Population - Internum
D2 Nina Kraviz – I Believe I Can Fly (KLM Delayed Flight Version)