The Warp sub-label releases a popular club DJ's first EP.
True to its title, "Ascetic" has a notably blunted high-end and develops slowly. This helps to create a dusky, wide-open feel that's heightened as the glint of FM-like bells contrast with the rolled-off fizz of the hi-hats. After the first drop, you might wonder where things are going, but the delayed gratification makes sense once a subtly ravey, drooping synth enters. The overall feeling is one of calm restraint.
We hear the opposite on "Ascetic"'s "In Breaks" version, the EP's standout. Rolling with a pitched-up but otherwise untouched Apache break, it nails that smokey, reverberated feel that screams early '90s warehouse, an effect amplified by bass that gestures to the hardcore sounds of the era. "LXR Jam" is the other highlight, named after a drum machine that excels at complex modulation and alien FM tones. Dryer and quieter than the other tracks, "LXR Jam" is initially unassuming. But the sound design is the EP's most interesting, particularly the grainy, stretched-out tones that lurk in the background and leap forward in the breaks. Given that Ascetic is Kristensen's first EP, the signs are promising. Expect her music to evolve.