Electronic music has always been a forum for experimentation. Hell, when Kraftwerk first started performing, audiences would just stand around looking at each other in bemused confusion. But while the German quartet’s first offerings were, frankly, unlistenable, “experimental” need not mean “deliberately baffling.”
Kytami’s Renegade toes the line between showcasing excellent musicianship and being highly danceable. Mashing up her complex, classically-trained violin playing with aggressive drum ‘n’ bass beats, Kytami injects a new flavour into a long-standing electronic genre.
The title track begins with a wash of string pads and dramatic drum kicks before jumping into a high-energy mix of dubstep basslines—provided by local producers Phonik Ops and Beatsmith—and panning, arpeggiated violin riffs. Underscored by soft police sirens, the track peaks and troughs, offering tactical breaks from periods of powerful two-step rhythms.
“Listen Up” flips the script, creating a hip-hop-cum-drum-‘n’-bass ballad overscored by Kytami’s violin playing. Mashing up a number of different styles—a technique that, as a founding member of fusion band Delhi 2 Dublin, the musician has perfected over her career—the song blends Deriek Simon’s hip-hop vocals with Kytami’s soaring fiddle lines.
Though the seven-track album is highly charged and belligerent throughout, the violinist’s varying rhythmic patterns and melancholic melodies add a sensitivity to an often brash genre. Nuancing typical drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep beats and basslines, the combination of Phonik Ops’s production and Kytami’s sense of harmony moves the genre into interesting territory.
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