Boomkat Product Review:
Berlin lynchpin Kareem dons his hip hop bonnet for a very welcome return to the hard instrumental beat-breaking flex of his prized 12”s on Zhark sublabel, Ramadan
Fair to say, back in the day, we were a bit obsessed with Kareem’s string of releases between 2002’s ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ album and the ‘Battlefield’ and ‘Neoclassical’ EPs launched in 2003. Patently skooled in the hard knocks of RZA and Havoc, but shy of vocals save for an amazing Tikiman/Paul St. Hilaire turn on the stone classic ‘Curfew’, they stood out from the crowd and ostensibly marked a stark contrast with Kareem’s less than salubrious industrial techno workouts, or his fine vein of dark ambient, until his later work with Shadowhuntaz.
Nearly 20 years later, on ‘Zones of Significant Time’ he’s reprised the vibe at its coldest, hardest in 11 instrumentals built from granite-cut drums, bleak strings and horns in a classic late ‘90s model, but edged with the kind of brooding force of early productions by The Bug, DJ Krush or Spectre, with dead strong highlights strewn between the acidic tang of ‘Come Crawling’, the scowling showdown scene of ‘The Last Concrete Beach’, and the bone-powdering drums of ‘Psychology of the Crater’, with some proper thuggish skullduggery reserved to the dungeon rap styles of ‘Zodiac 2021’ and cranky jigginess of ‘Necropolis.’