For some underground techno and industrial enthusiasts, Kareem and Huren are practically household names. The two producers, AKA Patrick Stottrop and Dave Foster (also of Teste), have been behind much of the output at the former's Zhark Recordings, a label long known for housing a broad array of heavy, uncompromising electronic music. Their latest collaboration, Le 17 Janvier Los Angeles, USA, is a split EP for the Vienna-based label Noiztank that highlights each artist's stylistic range.
With a side apiece, both artists offer two divergent, equally strong productions, and each section appears to reference previously released Zhark records with titles Ligeia and MRTVI. Kareem's A-side begins with "The Borromeos Arrival," a compelling ambient track made of a throaty, ominous low-end and ruminative orchestral drones. "Meyrink" is high-caliber DJ tackle. The 4/4 drum jam comes with subtle shifts and a few superbly chaotic transitions—it's so muscular that it seems to churn the earth as it powers through it. On the flip, Huren's "Rituel Sonore" is rawer and more industrialized, packing a huge, reverb-soaked lead. The deepest of the bunch is "Partial Deletions," an apocalyptic techno-scape filled with malevolent atmospheric disturbances. A fine continuation of Kareem and Huren's shared history, Le 17 Janvier Los Angeles, USA is as potent as it is versatile.