RKSS’ Basement EP feels partly Andy Stott, partly Bandshell, but for the most part, feels entirely new. Grainy synths, richly organic percussion and awkward shuffling rhythms are presented in a way that sounds unforced and perfectly natural. Despite the apparent ease of RKSS’ production, the tracks still manage to retain the kind of depth of field you’d associate with hours of painstaking work on atmospheric field recordings, carefully tweaking EQs, compressors and reverbs.
Title track Basement gives the strongest hints of the aforementioned possible Andy Stott influence, the tracks unrelenting four to the floor rhythms characteristic of Stott’s smouldering take on techno. What is perhaps most interesting about this track though, is the upfront mechanical clicks that sound like they could have been taken straight from a German Expressionist factory soundscape, akin to Metropolis etc. Whilst Basement is largely centred around its twitching, stumbling rhythms, the track is propelled by dark and imposing, and yet rich and welcoming synth washes, especially during the noisy build that seems to always go one step further than you expect it to.
Push carries many of the same themes over from Basement, a claustrophobic monotony puts the listener in a weirdly haunting place, juxtaposed by angelic melodies taking it to an unearthly celestial field that makes Actress’ R.I.P spring to mind. Far also leaves this lingering imbalance of jittering restlessness with celestial serenity, and ends the EP with a question mark both mystifying and intriguing. Great stuff.