The first release on a new label from Janus, one of experimental club music's core crews.
Uli K has always been one of the more interesting artists on the Bala Club roster. The London-based label and club night cofounder has been releasing less regularly than their better-known brother, Kamixlo, yet Uli K's pensive and willingly obscure records feel enduring. Applying sentimental, bilingual vocals to collaborations with Endgame, Malibu and Yung Lean, the Chilean-born performer's drip feed of emo R&B ballads culminated in 2017's Goodbye + Goodnight mixtape, which featured contributions from some of the aforementioned artists, along with other Sad Boys, White Armor and Bladee. It's hard to tell who's doing what, and what Uli K's true sound is.
For their debut EP, Uliverse, released on Why Be and Dan De Norch's fledgling Yegorka label, Uli K takes a different direction. Four tracks are dumped in drone and reverb, muted by sonic treatments so harsh the treble could blow your speakers. Titles like "Reconstructed Club Music" and "Why Are All My Friends So Problematic" mock the labels and catchalls that have been applied to the Bala Club scene so often they've lost their meaning. The expectation of high-definition sound design is replaced with crunchy modular loops and post-punk basslines.
"Affection One" is mostly noise and ambient. "Summoned" is the only track featuring vocals. They are warped and misshapen, sung over a muddy guitar-chord progression. This stylistic u-turn hasn't come completely without precedent. Uli K's self-titled contribution to Xquisite Nihil's seize the means of production compilation was a similarly degraded reaction to the super-produced sound of a generation raised on Ableton. While not that fun to listen to, Uliverse is a noble deviation nonetheless.
Tracklist01. Reconstructed Club Music
03. Why Are All My Friends So Problematic
04. Affection One