Matt Karmil’s STS371 is an aural travelogue, sonically documenting the emotion of his surroundings, from the spirit of movement to textured background soundtracks. We feel Karmil’s extraction from the electronic music scene by expanding beyond the dancefloor.
“Smoke” uses the grit and noise of vinyl crackles and pops to supply texture to a processed minimalistic machine, churning out repetition until something gives. A simple beat is all it takes, but don’t expect Karmil to blow the doors wide open. He’s just getting started. This is a just a snapshot that easily dissipates into the hazy sound that “Hard” provides. Using a harsh high hat that mixes into a dizzying trance number, you just have to go with Karmil’s piecemeal production skills. I am not sure if I would be happier to hear this in a club or through solitary contemplation. “Snail Shower” pushes me towards the latter thanks to the song’s minimalism.
“PB” may be his greatest moment. The song stretches out for eight minutes and uses that time to build layer upon layer of electronic splendor. We have, indeed, hit the club and the pulsating sound feeds off the vibrancy of the culture. I like that Karmil does not replicate his heavy hitters and seeks out exploration in sound. “SR/WB” takes a few minutes to get his point across, but when he reaches that drift in feeling, it clicks.
There are surprising moments where you find yourself realizing that Karmil can go deep. He takes you by surprise both by creating ambient soundscapes as well as artistically composing a two a.m. club banger. STS371 may find you seeking out more of one or the other, but as a whole, it has that Smalltown Supersound artistry in electronic music.
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