Klaus KlausTusk EP
R&S RECORDS (RS1107, 12” + digital)
Klaus isn't called Klaus - and he isn't German, either. The credits on his first 12” on R&S Records (his first ever release, without counting the remix he made for Mount Kimbie on the recent “Carbonated”) show the name of N. Sigsworth (N. stands for Nick), born and living in the south of London. His music, in fact, is as London as it gets; focusing on that dragging, spacious and almost ghostly sound that could be heard on the early works of Airhead, James Blake and, of course, Burial. Mentioning those names raises the level of expectation, but Klaus is on the par on this “Tusk EP”; four cuts later, he joins them in the premier league of mystic post-dubstep. His music is so “post”, there are hardly any beats: the four tracks float on a tenuous and static cloud - a kind of vague ambient riddled from time to time with muffled basslines - sounds from a badly tuned television with wood-like echo in the distance ( “Cypher”). That's the only danceable moment - and by dancing I mean standing still with maybe one's thumbs moving; that's how contemplative Klaus is.
The other pieces maintain that tense and teary-eyed calmness that dominates the interludes in Burial's music. “Tusk”, for example, seems to want to explode with a Joy Orbison-like, euphoric beat, but instead it advances gropingly at a speed that seems to go down instead of up, or remaining the same; it's dubstep on the verge of falling asleep, with heavy eyes and endorphins running wild. “Fens” is also a kind of slow-motion drum'n'bass, but the foggy atmosphere invades everything completely, creating a kind of humid and porous bubble in which you can sit comfortably and listen without any pressure. The last track, “Pim”, is the most relaxed of them all: almost without rhythm, it's all watery sound waves and swirling atmospheres, like when the first dark clouds start to come together and a storm is forming. “Tusk EP” is quite possibly one of the most fascinating EPs of the year.