New Artist Spotlight: K4LT Brings Electronic Pop To Post Punk (Video)

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There’s been a rash of extra-cool, electronic-infused post-punk-esque artists seemingly coming from all over the world lately, and we YEDM are here for it. With lofi beats, an offshoot of trip hop, being so popular in recent years, it stands to reason that some artists would bring the lowest of lofi, maudlin melodies. Post-punk artists like Nick Cave or Joy Division, for those who remember, actually relied quite heavily on synthesizers in their heyday. As we now think of more stripped down sounds, these new artists are updating these synths for modern ears, bringing chaos and irony in a new way. With only one EP and one single to his name so far, German producer and vocalist K4LT could become one of the best of this set, as his work takes punk into post punk, lofi into industrial and classic, Moog style and 808 into the digital age.

K4LT releases its first EP, paradoxically named End of Game, in 2021. This EP showcased his skills as a master of pop radio, a bygone sound of century-old recordings that many artists have weaponized as part of an interesting beat or phrase transition. K4LT uses them for both, and their beats range from the aforementioned trip hop to trap to industrial beats. The latter, in End of GameThe closing track of “Fugae” is particularly impressive because with that industrial beat, old radio pops, loads of vintage synths and pretty heavy guitar, it still manages to keep the track decidedly lofi.

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At the other end of what we now know is the lofi spectrum (K4LT having pushed that boundary for us), or apparently so, is the End of GameThe opening track of “Boarding Pass”. With a very basic beat and beatific vocals, listening to the first part of this track, the average lofi fan would think it’s standard, but another feedback-heavy guitar arrives, this time more shoegazey and chaotic. In fact, all tracks on End of Game contain guitars, ranging from haunting and more junkyard country, as in “Extinction Aphelion” to positively grungy in “Loading Screen”.

From End of Game, a unique style is starting to emerge from K4LT, but fans of the debut EP shouldn’t expect the same from its new single, “LCPD.” Much more shoegazey in form and function, “LCPD” has a more definitive trip hop structure to the beat with some drone play as well. Here, the influence of acts like Radiohead and Gorillaz are really present, as well as lofi techno vibes drawn from K4LT’s hometown of Berlin. The effect is soft but punctuated, with composition that feels more intentional on this track but still with whiplashes of experimental sound design. Also possibly the trickiest track on his visible discography, K4LT said “LCPD” was inspired by the tension and emotions behind an “amicable” breakup. The cautious yet emotional nature of this track was perhaps meant to reflect the difficulty that lies in such a delicate relationship maneuver, and if so, it was very well done.

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It seems the experimental maturity of K4LT’s work has already led him to create diverse, multi-layered work that will resonate with post-punks, the indie-loving lofi crowd, vintage synth enthusiasts, and music science enthusiasts. That’s a pretty good cross section to mine, and “LCPD” is definitely not K4LT’s final shape. Whatever he has in store for his next release, fans can expect him to utilize pop radio, his many musical skills, and a healthy dose of emotionality.

“LCPD” and the rest of K4LT’s discography can be streamed on Spotify or purchased on Bandcamp.

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