Since releasing his impressive debut album ‘The Dread Of A Unknown Evil’ near the start of 2013, formerly Brooklyn-based electronic producer KRTS (real name Kurtis Allen Hairston) has relocated to Berlin, and it’s this feeling of being an outsider in a new country that forms the inspiration for the title of this 12â€ EP on Project Mooncircle. While there’s still a definite hiphop / beats focus to ‘The Foreigner’, compared to the more diverse explorations of ‘The Dread..’, there’s more of a focus on more straightforward boom-bap rhythmic structures powering beneath the seven new predominantly instrumental and chilled-out tracks collected here. ‘Foreign Land’ offers a brief opening intro that sees gentle soul keys bathing in a blissful fog of twinkling synths and swelling orchestration.
‘Berlin Girls’ sees the crunching boom-bap rhythms locking down against vast, delay-heavy handclaps and booming sub-bass drops, the grittiness of the undercarriage nicely balanced out by the twinkling xylophone tones and elegant piano keys that shift to the foreground towards the track’s second half, in what’s easily one of the most lush and opulent moments to be found here. ‘Don’t Need Your Love’ meanwhile sees echoing snares and booming sub-bass kicks tracing a path against wandering synth-clavinets and KRTS’ own airy soul harmonies as flickering footwork snare rolls provide rhythmic energy to the eerie wash of pitch-altered vocals. Elsewhere, ‘Sunrise Over Warschauer’ takes a drum break that sounds like it could have stepped straight off Massive Attack’s ‘Blue Lines’ and surrounds it with chiming Asian percussion and muted bass pads, on for a bonus remix from Sieren to completely remodel the same track into a juddering slice of juke-jungle that’s all whirring sharp-edged snare action and dark brooding sub-bass. KRTS fans shouldn’t be disappointed with this latest effort.