Karamazov – Self Control
Minneapolis based solo project Karamazov is soon to release his newest EP, Self Control on August 18th of this year. Otherwise known as Luke Olson (ex Blue Ox, ex Ambassador Gun)after the disbandment of Ambassador Gun, he decided to do something that’s been becoming a bit more popular recently, and mix electronic music with metal elements. Artists such as the recently famous EvOlution (Dallas Turner) have taken the idea of making electronic music and adding metal elements to it to the next level. each seems to do it a bit differently, as Dallas mainly featured vocalists, especially deathcore, Luke focused mainly on local instrumentalists. Having no background in sound production at the beginning of this project, he took multiple years to hone this craft, and it definitely shows throughout the album
To jump straight to the music, this whole album was full of interesting ideas from the drop. The first track “When the Hope Dries” enters with exactly what you’d expect, minus a little heavy influence. The first track honestly feels more like a platformer video game sound track than anything else for the first two minutes. When you hear electronic, the sound of this track is usually what jumps to mind, at least for me, yet it keeps a somewhat unique feel. The aspect of this track that makes it stand out is the live drum track paired with the synth melodies and into the point where guitars enter. With the driving force the drums put into the song, it turns it into an aggressive prog-like track, such as something that came off of an album from The Algorithm, (go listen to “Floating Point” by them and you’ll understand), and the guitars really bring the track together to add a little of the metal influence that Karamzov is trying to bring to the table.
The rest of the album was generally good, but my absolute favorite track on this album was “Triangle”. This song is so interesting to me that I can’t help but talk about it. A blues/reggae feel and sound, paired with electronic synth chords layering over, with some pitch screams thrown on top? Sign me the F*ck up! Having such an interesting combination of genres really set this project apart from most of the others I’ve seen around. While larger names can offer more popular features, money can’t replace a truly talented and versatile musician, and Luke definitely proved that with a single song. Another impressive point i wanted to touch on is that not a single one of these 5 songs sounded alike. Each was distinct in it’s sound and style, and the creative freedom given to the featured artist was much appreciated, as you can tell that each artist put time into what they were playing. From saxophone solos on “Collapser”, to crazy funky basslines on “Sleepwreck”, this album still sounded weirdly natural for an “electronic music” album, and it really shined for me.
As a complete work, I really enjoyed this album. individually the songs were very good, but as an album, it becomes a display of lots of talent and passion. I highly commend Luke and all featured artist for their work, this is definitely something I will continue to listen to. Don’t forget to check out this album when it releases on August 18th!
FFO: The Algorithm, Sonic Youth, The Contortionist,
1. When The Hope Dries
2. Rich Red Light
Bloodrock rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Ethan Grason for Bloodrock Media on August 12, 2017