Kramar Zaibatsu is an artist with a kaleidoscopic outlook on his music, a truly experimental performer that refuses to get stuck in a box, not only musically and conceptually, but also aesthetically, as testified by the parade of monikers he adopted throughout his varied career. Kramar approaches his performance, bypassing rationality and exploring the hidden layers of consciousness on a deeper level.
Sonically, Kramar set out to deliver a blend of progressive, electronics, glitch, ambient and much more, as portrayed on his album “The Dark Enlightenment”. This is definitely not elevator music, and probably not music to drive your car by, either. It draws you into its world and captivates your imagination. The tracks are well-thought out and differ from each other nicely.
The sound effects are used effectively and not over-used, allowing the music to set the mood. With each of the dark concept tracks, Kramar creates ominous and ethereal landscapes that surround the listener with haunting melodies and thumping rhythms, which have been expertly crafted to conjure a specific frame of mind.
Kramar uses computer processing and sounds which read as: empty-warehouse clangs, distant echoing vocal snippets, reverberating bells, fragments of ghostly melodies, combined with sampling techniques, and a general approach to texture and building of listener anticipation. Though his seemingly boundless creativity and deliberative touch easily put him in a league above most of his peers, his use of these techniques and sounds within an unexpected style of music is another quality that sets Kramar apart.
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Perhaps this is why this album is difficult to categorize. Many of the twenty songs on “The Dark Enlightment” build gradually and are consistently fascinating, filled with small sonic details, shifting almost imperceptibly between digital and what sounds like acoustic samples. While others settle into a hard groove right from the word go, with disturbing sounds and voices. All the way through Kramar’s approach to sound design, is capable of expressiveness as well as rhythmic perfection.
There are hugely impressive and gratifying moments here, like: “Deaf Mice”, “Phoenices”, “Black Brother”, “Godot is Here” and “Secret Pleasures of a Cleaning Bot”, but overall “The Dark Enlightment” feels more deliberate and less repetitive than many electronic albums in recent memory.
Kramar Zaibatsu melds multiple sub-genres into one atmospheric and monstrous album. One moment you’re drifting among colorful particles of sound and the next you’re inside a warped and malicious world. The way the song structures combine wild chaos and strict order will mesmerize you if you pay close enough attention. “The Dark Enlightment” is the perfect blend of intensity and intellectual reflection.
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