Brooklyn-based electronic producer KRTS first appeared on Project Mooncircle back in 2011 with his Hold On EP, and two years on, The Dread Of An Unknown Evil offers up his debut album proper. Curiously, it’s an album that almost feels that it has two distinctly different sides to its persona. While a large chunk of the ten tracks collected here are centred around a glacial, stripped back abstracted rnb approach that at times calls to mind the likes of Collarbones, with guest vocals being pushed to the forefront, there’s also a more ghostly minimalist techno pulse lurking in the undergrowth.
‘Something New’ kicks things off with Jon Hairston’s phased soul vocals gliding over a vaguely Flying Lotus-esque backdrop of airy synth pads, handclaps and moody bass chords as faded out piano keys pluck away at the very edges, before ‘Your Eyes’ takes things out into spacious downbeat sci-fi jazz as rich bass swells and wash of twinkling ambient textures slowly build around Stevee Wellons’ gospel-soul tones, clattering snares and sinister sub-bass tones injecting a broken-house feel towards the very end. Elsewhere, the darkly-hued ‘Knuckle Under’ sends eerie 808 toms clicking against swells of ominous brass orchestration as the entire track gradually winds up into eerie cinematic electro tinged with jittery footwork accents, while the pared back instrumental title track sees KRTS taking things off into minimalist tech-house more akin to the likes of Luomo as crackling snares add traction to a backdrop of ghostly billowing bass pulses. A consistently intriguing and diverse listen, The Dread… is a debut well worth exploring.