Kraftjerkz :: Kid Ginseng, Lexander James, Newmonics

Styles are mixed and matched. New with old. Classic with experimental. There’s a touch of vintage shop chic to the whole endeavor.

Kraftjerkz :: Kid Gingseng, Lexander James, Newmonics (Double review)

Kraftjerkz isn’t a label that follows trends. I mentioned this before in a profile of the imprint earlier this year. Styles are mixed and matched. New with old. Classic with experimental. There’s a touch of vintage shop chic to the whole endeavor.

Proof of this can be heard in the last two releases. Ausramp delivered a grooving work of techno while Zarkloff and Honores Matres dished up their unique blend of house. Other EPs are also emblematic of the hodgepodge mix of styles. Electro. Nu Disco and all in between.

To keep the listener guessing come two downloads releases. Kid Ginseng, aka Robin Des Iles, recently interviewed Egyptian Lover on his blog; and the influences of the Prince of Electro are plain to hear. “So Furious” takes clean beats and a handful of chords to produce a lilting track with some echoes of electro-clash coming through with Wendy James looping vocals. Lexander James delivers something with more layers of funk. Stylistically similar to early DMX Krew, “Tiny Lips” is a fresh faced and heart-warming piece. But there’s also a frostier side to the Edmonton artist’s music. Spiking scales and lush moments culminate for “Meet Me,” a track born in a modern electro disco form.

There’s a rough and ready quality to Kid Ginseng, or should that be a giddiness, that comes through on the label. His recently completed Newmonics project features freestyle scratching behind racing machine drum beats and guitars. The tracks are innocent if anything and fun. More mucking around with a mate than serious, but what’s the harm with that?

It’s hard to sum up Kraftjerkz. It’s a topsy-turvy imprint. Styles come and go. Genres bob and weave and nothing is set in stone. In some ways the US label is a sort of two finger salute to the beard stroking severe type that electronic music attracts, but with some pretty good music thrown in for good measure.

Available on Kraftjerkz.

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