- Pounding psychedelic techno from two hardware specialists.
- Techno was in a different place when Blawan and Pariah linked up as Karenn eight years ago. Sandwell District were still together, Rødhåd played deep techno and Panorama Bar stayed open longer than Berghain. DJs also played softer than they do today, which made Blawan and Pariah's churning, machine-driven sound an outlier—for a while, theirs was some of the meanest techno out there. Kind Of Green, the pair's first EP since 2014, reminds us how the landscape has changed. Karenn's sound isn't all that different, but compared to many of the techno EPs you'll find in the racks, the mood is deep and twisted, more about modulating synths than thumping drums.
That said, these tracks still kick hard, which means they'll be played in plenty of clubs. Splattered with bleeps and fizzing synths, the title track's housey swing feels like something you might hear in a Sunday afternoon Marcel Dettmann set. "Newt" is deeper and more abstract, but it hums with the intensity of a classic Karenn track. But best of all is "Salz," a growling, psychedelic bomb that will light up just about any dance floor it's unleashed on. Functional and strangely catchy, it's the kind of track that made people fall in love with Karenn in the first place. The energy goes up and down, but never falls much, a bit like a modern version of the early Downwards sound, where a few well-considered loops was about all a great techno record needed. EPs like Kind Of Green show that this is still very much true.
A2 Kind Of Green