Boomkat Product Review:
Perfectly elusive pop, ths second eponymous 12” from CS + Kreme for Canada’s Total Stasis proves that their 1st EP - one of our favourite releases of 2016 - was no fluke, but rather the foundation of a genuinely sublime sound.
This one knits in contributions from Nigel Lee-Yang ov close associates HTRK, plus flute by local peer Ela Stiles (Bushwalking, The Rangoons) and sax from Jack Doepel, to reveal subtle new shades and aspects of a heart-rendingly classic style.
Dispatching a necessary dose of dusky, southern hemisphere feels to our chilly northern swedes, Conrad Standish and Sam ‘Kreme’ Karmel (F Ingers) have us utterly rapt again with four mirage-like songs that place Standish among the underrated songwriters of recent times, while finding Karmel fluidly firming up the more abstract inclinations of his work alongside Carla Dal Forno in F Ingers for Blackest Ever Black.
Recorded as intimate “jams” with their pals, the four cuts testify to a knowing, close relationship between the duo and their associates, the sort of mutual familiarity that makes listening to their recordings feel somehow voyeuristic or as though we’re privy to a deeply private sound.
Their sound is anything but unapproachable. In the EP opener, Whip, featuring Nigel Yang’s seductive guitar glances laced to feathered 808 and gorgeous, willowing string arrangement, we hear a sort of follow-up to the coolly insistent resolve of Devotion from the 1st CS + Kreme record, while Sisters is darkly alluring thanks to the unaffected modesty of Standish’s vocals and the mutable sensuality of Karmel’s deliquescent synthlines and filigree dub-trap tics.
And they aren’t even the strongest songs. For us, they come on the B-side, in the form of instant classic Roast Ghost (Swimming Thru The Pillars Mix) with its fathomless and incredibly evocative sound field coloured by plaintive keys, a super hushed Standish and that 808 patter, before Portal polishes us off with plunging bassline, noirish piano plumes and one of the most gripping sax lines you’ll shiver to in 2017 - imagine Vazz and Wim Mertens jamming after a quarter of opium-laced hash.
A massive recommendation!