Krooks are fast becoming our favourite new label

Artist : RQUE
Title : The Lady & The Dragon
Label : Krooks
Release : Out Now
Genre : Electronica

After releases by Arjuna Schiks, Spaceandtime and Bremer, Krooks return with the debut album of new signing RQUE. ’The Lady & The Dragon’ covers a range of musical influences taking in classic trip hop beats, warm guitar flecks and transcendental shamanic chants. Recorded during an important transitional phase in the young life of RQUE, the tracks tackle growing pains. overcoming fears and letting go of ego.

Starting strongly with the vocal led Dr Jane, RQUE delves deeply into a downtempo nu house sounds to create an astoundingly poignant opener. Me vs Me and Golden Age continue to impress with delicate well spaced percussions, space aged synth washes and winsome shoegaze-y vocals. Dragon is an opus. Such attention to detail and clever ideas, it’s a highlight for me. Green Gold moves back into melancholy territory, a place RQUE finds very comfortable given the class this track has. I Am That I Am  has an air of serenity, its muted bell and guitar lead fitting very well atop the shuffling Indian inspired hip hop beats.

Stone of the Phoenix starts out in contemplative mood with a rising melody line and spoken word. Imagine if Massive Attack had co written this one and you come close to the vibe. Another high point for me, and a definite choice for a single to promote the albums depth and variety. Like any good album, the really good tracks are at the end – a payoff if you will – and Ol’ Buttermilk Sky is a a real payoff. More uptempo than previously heard, but no less emotive and considered, RQUE does a fantastic job of writing one of my favourite deep house tracks this year, a track with a proper vocal! Anyone whose familiar with Solomun’s recent reworking of Interpol will appreciate this one immensely.

The other worldly moans of Sahasrara prepare you for a sonic trip into the deepest reaches of the Indian subcontinent and as the sitar’s and hand tambourines clatter and strum on top a loose beat layers and layers of percussion and ambience are added as if by magic to lift this chill track head and shoulders above the pack. Closing out the album is Lotus Eye. RQUE is clearly a fan of DJ Shadow having heard this! Utilising a simple melody and warping and manipulating it with aplomb transforms it into an really weird, experimental ambient piece with bags and bags of personality. I can’t wait to unleash this one on an unsuspecting crowd just to watch their heads explode and their brains melt! haha its awesome, and a fitting end to a quality album. Miss this at your peril.

01// Dr. Jane
02// Me vs Me
03// Golden Age
04// Dragon
05// Green Gold
06// I Am That I Am
07// Stone of Phoenix
08// Ol’ Buttermilk Sky
09// Sahasrara
10// Lotus Eye