K S K is the project of London student Chris Kelly, who’s set out to form an idiosyncratic hybrid of dark industrial dance music and hypnotic tribal rhythms. His newest gift to the public, ‘On Your Guard’ is as deep as they get, using a broad repertoire of production tricks and harmonic subtleties to soundtrack walks in the bitterly cold night.
The bulk of the track moves you in unexpected ways, using an inventive scatter of snares and clicks. Part of what’s so impressive about this track is the fact that it uses a 6/4 rhythm to churn the beat through. It doesn’t sound forced either; it’s easy to bop your head to and helps to create a unique groove that I can’t really compare with anything. Perhaps more producers should take a leaf out of his book and make tracks in off-kilter time signatures. As the bass rumble, screams and palpitating drums all uncoil to a halt, it feels like what you just heard was just a nightmare, or momentary flashback of a bad trip. The truth is, you could be walking down Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and still feel paranoid listening to this track.
This is not helped by horror film style wolf-howls and vulture-screeches, which are not used sparingly within the track. Having them so high in the mix is a bold choice but it’s executed perfectly. They intensify the dissonance within the track, creating a harrowing atmosphere that never lets up, strangely reminding me of ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima”, only digitized and danceable.
There’s really no other way to listen to ‘on your guard’ than FUCKING LOUD. Listening to it from laptop speakers or indeed any speakers that are sub-par simply won’t do it. I urge you all to download this track (free from his soundcloud), and take a stroll tonight through the dampest, darkest area of wherever it is that you live and play this track as loud as you can through your headphones. Enjoy.