REVIEW: High Wolf’s “Kairos: Chronos”

 photo HighWolf_cover_zpsffd0d8f9.jpg Kairos: Chronos (Not Not Fun) is the latest project from French artist High Wolf, whose press material seems to be dedicated to calling him a world traveler, which may be a wise way to describe how his music sounds so vast but plays literally no role on whether or not I enjoyed the music on the album.

Sarcastic rudeness aside, High Wolf has been releasing music for four years, usually two or so albums a year so will this be High Wolf’s first project of a few? We’ll see. What I hear on Kairos: Chronos is someone who enjoys the wonders of multi-track recording, as many electronic producers are, but instead of hyping up the beats, the rhythm tracks are almost secondary. This allows the listener to really immerse themselves into other parts of the music, be it a bassline or muted bassline, a counter melody, atmosphere, or random sounds. In a song like “Rip X” there is an evident rhythm track but it is almost subdued and by not being the core of the song, one is able to groove into other portions of the song. Some have called his music a weird variation of dub, and I definitely hear the dub influences, especially in the aptly-titled “An Empire Upon An Empire”. Even in a song like “707” where the drum loop sounds brickwalled, you almost want to not pay attention to it and hear the electric piano, the bass, and other portions. Yet that beat drives you in and you want to bless the ground in a tribal fashion, just so you can thank the world that you exist in this time period, allowing you to hear something as interesting as this. The 13 1/2 minute “Alvarado” ends the album on an incredibly high note, and one might find it akin to other electronic-based albums of the 1990’s where it was about venturing into the sonic unknown while hopefully creating music that would please people in the clubs or in the comforts of their own home. It is drawn out and unleashes itself slowly like a web, only for you to see the albums skeletal design so you’re able to understand, at least in part, how High Wolf presented himself and his music.