Kilo House – The Witching Hour – EP Review
If you’re a regular reader of these pages of ours, you’re familiar with the fact that I’ve usually got a whole long winding intro to most of these reviews where I’ll tell ya a little bit about the artist or band behind the music before I start examining the entire record loaded up on my playlist. I’m not gonna do that today…there’s a reason WHY that is, of course – and right now, I’d suspect the artist behind the killer music of Kilo House is probably the only person that might know why I’d choose to hold back at the beginning. Because it’s not like I don’t have stories…you know that I do…but this time, just wait for it, ok? I can promise you there’s a method to my madness…I assure ya, I’ll get those extra details in here at some point…but for now, I just want us all turning up The Witching Hour to let the music speak for itself.
Considering the all-caps label of TERROR TRAP attached to this record, it seems only fitting that we begin by diving on into the “XXX Files (Intro)” to start up The Witching Hour only days before Halloween. It’s a take on the old X-Files theme as the title would imply…sounds like we’ve got a few more tortured screams in the background as it begins, and then just past the thirty-five second mark, we start gettin’ our Electro Trap on for real as the beat kicks in for added intensity & drama to dig on. Smart way to start a record though, you gotta give Kilo House points for thinking this through; that instant connection I’m sure more than half the world immediately makes to what they recognize in that iconic & haunting theme of the X-Files, then switching it up in a bold transition to what Kilo House has got planned for ya.
I’m a big fan of projects like this that could just as easily be considered to be a form of IDM or EDM every bit as much as TERROR TRAP – there’s a stellar level of complexity in the composition that keeps me coming back to songs like “Demons” for sure. I kind of look at it like this…when you hear the precision and the sound selection at work in the music of Kilo House, it’s abundantly clear that just about everything could have been…easier, let’s say. You know what I mean? You’ll hear all the ingredients of an easy-to-love Electro banger in a track like “Demons” all the way through it, and all the skills required to make that happen, probably with his eyes closed even – except that, instead you’ll find Kilo House makes much more of a decisive choice to chop, edit, turn, and twist what you might assume would be coming at you next, into something all the more adventurous and inventive. Your ears should appreciate that folks…I know mine do. That’s why I made that comment about IDM at the beginning here…something like the way “Demons” is structured & designed fits right in with that rad style of Electro built to make your synapses light up in every direction – it makes your brain dance. Plus, I mean, c’mon now y’all…if you wanna hear a killer mix on the low-end of the sound spectrum, you can’t beat the thickness of the bass that Kilo House pumps into “Demons” – it’s enormous, unpredictable, and completely effective. For those of you out there looking for a straight-line between point-A and point-B, sorry – Kilo House immediately proves to be beyond that. I’m realistic in the sense that I know this dude is working within a niche subset of the Electro world to a degree, but it’s always my true hope that creativity & innovation like this gets the credit it deserves. It’s a BIG tune really…short in length perhaps, but a twisted set of ideas that flex finesse and HQ sound atcha at all times – “Demons” looms large with a mix of intensity & imagination that instantly confirms you’re not in for the average everyday music experience and a whole set of sing-along songs on The Witching Hour EP. Scream-along songs perhaps…but as far as typical hooks are concerned, look elsewhere – the sonic depth and uniqueness in the structure of a song like “Demons” IS the hook…it’s about the quality of ideas & courage to ‘go there.’
YES. YES. YES! Do I love “R.U.N.” you ask? Ask me again – YES! It is not tough for me to look down at my forearm as I type this out and admire my own Aphex Twin tattoo right there in front of me – and in listening to a cut like “R.U.N.” there are some huge similarities between them that made this cut perfect for me. The first, most major, and perhaps completely defining aspect of WHY, being that…YOU can’t listen to this! Errr…sorry, not YOU, you…I mean the other yous out there that don’t read pages like these or are out there scouring the internet for what’s awesome in the underground/independent scene – those people out there, those part-time listeners…c’mon now, they can’t hang with the level of badassery on a song like “R.U.N.” – this is a cut for the hardcore crowd of real dedicated circuit-hounds. With its like…atmosphere of a bunch of machines jamming out in the factory late at night long after the workers have gone home style of sound…”R.U.N.” doesn’t push it too far in the direction of something grating or as extreme as Aphex’s “Ventolin” – but a cut like this isn’t too far away from the hard-hitting vibes of digital-meets-mechanical fury on display in a track like Twin’s remix of “We Have Arrived.” In short, “R.U.N.” is capable of making most people out there wish they were wearing their brown pants as they listened for the first time…either from the shock of the depth in the sound & how the frequencies & tones grab ya, or the pure joy of finding something as unapologetically different and well-assembled as this cut is…one way or the other, you get the picture I’m sure; no other color pants will do ya in a scenario such as this. “R.U.N.” is a track like this makes a lasting impression on ya & certainly confirms the high-level of skill, focus, ingenuity, & care being put into each of the savage cuts on this EP. “R.U.N.” is freakishly fun, has an absolutely stellar mix with a wild selection of sounds that pop out like a killer in the bushes, & uses its samples brilliantly to maximum effect – this song IS the lotion in the basket.
I have this weird thing…maybe it’s as simple as mad respect…for artists that can create music that’s beyond me – that make any sense? Like I don’t always need to fully be able to grasp a cut to understand that what’s happening is pretty damn rad, even if my brain can’t quite piece it all together as a whole, or do anything but try and keep up from moment to moment on certain tracks by the uber-creative out there. I’d also readily admit I can usually hang with the strangest of the strange for much longer than most…I am the same guy that, when asked ‘what do you listen to’ responded for years with, ‘whatever sounds really close to a broken answering machine on repeat’ – which wasn’t all that far from the truth. “The Worst Nightmare Of All” is one of those rare tracks that had me shaking my head, marveling at the creativity taking place, and knowing I couldn’t even grasp ten percent of what makes it so mesmerizing. This thang is LOADED UP with epic sounds and ominous samples…and structurally, good lord, this is one seriously tough beast to follow, even for yours truly. Kilo House is far, far, away from the typical here, and fully roaming on out to the fringes of the genre in just about every conceivable way – this is the kind of track that really has me appreciating just how different this project is capable of being. I enjoy a challenge to my mind as I listen to music…I won’t lie, that’s not an always thing, it’s a sometimes thing the older I get – but I have zero issues spinning a track like “The Worst Nightmare Of All” over and over and over until I finally feel like I’ve got the blueprint of how it moves & travels securely mapped out. The complexity is quite staggering, the sounds are intentionally BIG & jarring…you don’t go into a song called “The Worst Nightmare Of All” expecting to find sunshine & rainbows of course, but the savage shadow this cut will cast on over ya will have you rushing to turn back on the lights & reaching for The Monkees afterwards to play “Daydream Believer” for a minute and calm yourself the fuck back down.
The iconic face of Michael Myers, my favorite of all the horror movie madmen, appears scattered throughout quite a bit of what you’ll see in the images & artwork of Kilo House posted up online. To hear the homage come to life at the beginning of “The Night He Came Home” & see it there in the title, I gotta say, was highly satisfying to this guy writing this here review…I appreciate tie-ins like that in between the artist & the inspiration, wherever I can find’em. Another extraordinary example of where you can hear how simple & easy things COULD have been if Kilo House had wanted things to be that way – and another decisive action in turning away from the typical to create something much more unique instead. What I’ve been saying is this – Kilo House clearly has all the skills required to make a chart topping club cut in about five minutes flat…I’d be willing to bet on it – and I’m thankful that an artist/producer of his caliber & creativity, with such an impressive ear for sound, is on the side of the fence that does things differently than the rest. Because while a great song to sing along with certainly has its value & always will – a cut as experimental & explorative like “The Night He Came Home,” or any of the other tracks on this record for that matter, reveals the inherent value of experiencing the audible unknown. Personally I think the complexity on display throughout Kilo House’s music and the fact that you can hear it’s no kind of fluke whatsoever, but as professional as it gets…you gotta give this dude the full props he deserves for the consistent level of execution he brings to songs that demand real artistry. Dude’s got a great grip on how to use layering, depth, and genuine technique through his production to make the samples pop out as they should, and he makes the loud/quiet dynamics of his music stand out perfectly by constantly switching it up on us, structurally takings songs like “The Night He Came Home” in every direction that Kilo House can come up with – and believe me when I tell ya, that’s saying a LOT.
Technically, The Witching Hour EP has a bonus track along with it, and in my opinion, ya really can’t be missing out on this, so make sure to stick around for “Mr. Sandman” at the very end. And yep, it’s THAT “Mr. Sandman” from whatever golden-era of music it came from back in the day, only filtered through the same nightmarish perspective and skillful deconstruction that Kilo House has been keepin’ ya fully entertained with throughout this whole record, of course. Even just having the opening as muted as it is creates an instantly haunting vibe…almost like you showed up at The Overlook Hotel for a moment at the very wrong time. Or very right time depending on who ya are and how you look at it I suppose – but you get the idea, that twisted familiarity of something we know to be so comforting coming out to eerie leaves you with an authentically creepy & uneasy feeling as you listen. I know that might not be the most enticing way to describe music in words, so let me put it a better way instead – you should want, and be seeking out, on the regular, songs, bands, and artists capable of making you feel SOMETHING when you listen, whatever that may be. Sure you might need to listen to the majority of The Witching Hour with the lights on blazing throughout your house…but recognize the craft that goes into making a record that’ll leave you with a feeling like that – I’m tellin’ ya, Kilo House has got a solid grip on the style & sound he’s looking to create, and a master’s touch when it comes to production shaping his music. Not just a great ending to an innovative record, but a real highlight in the set overall – I loved “Mr. Sandman” in all its twisted TERROR TRAP glory, and felt like it was an essential cut to this whole lineup.
So here’s what I didn’t tell you at the very beginning of this review…
The dude behind the music of Kilo House should/will inspire the shit outta ya. Still got those brown pants handy?
According to what I’ve read & absorbed, this dude has been basically rooted to a wheelchair for the majority of his life, and at one point, only had the partial use of his left arm. Kids being kids, he probably got one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever seen in a passing comment from a friend, who said to him around the age of fifteen that, if “the guy from Def Leppard can play the drums, why can’t you?”
And so it began.
Reading about the journey to music made by Kilo House was beyond incredible and absolutely inspiring. To read about the will, determination, the effort, and the never give up, never take shit attitude that this dude has will blow your fuckin’ mind every bit as much as the music he makes does – and again, that’s saying a LOT. It’s his story to tell, and I don’t want to give it all away here when you should all be flocking over to the Kilo House homepage and reading it for yourselves…but I’ll leave you with this final line that I felt summed him up perfectly and really said it all – it reads: “Stop being upset about what you’ve been given and do something.” That was the key for Kilo House and it’s the key for us ALL as artists, creative-types…hell, human beings that just want to be happy in this lifetime…you don’t have to be confined to a wheelchair to understand that we’re all kept prisoner by the things that hold us back, whatever they may be – and we’ve all got something that does, right? So here’s what I want…well, two things…of course I want you to listen to The Witching Hour, I’ve made that clear by now – but I also want you all to sincerely take a page out of the Kilo House playbook, read that bio, and go attack your own art, music, and LIFE with the same passion, integrity, and determination that this dude has. He’s living proof that if you have the drive, the interest, the commitment it takes, and the sheer will to make even the dreams that seem furthest away from being possible become reality…that you can do anything you put your mind to if you’re willing to put in the work, never give up on those dreams you have, and most importantly, never give up on yourself. Inspiring guy to say the least – Kilo House is aces all-around.
Find out more about Kilo House at the official website at: https://www.kilo-house.com