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Kalden Bess: Like an after-hours speedway

January 29, 2016

Jet Lag

Like an emerald mustang with a black racer stripe, Kalden Bess’s Jet Lag EP hits 60 mph in five seconds. The first two songs, “Rabbit Hole” and a remix by Jon Gurd, are techno-heavy, house-beat tracks that made me feel like I was punching it into gear with 500+ horsepower in an action movie. Just as intensely alluring as the original, this remix adds subtle details, such as a slight muting halfway through. It sounded, quite literally, like I was racing through a tunnel, with the sound dropping out a bit and then epic, bass-bumping diapason returning seconds later — barely enough time for me to hold my breath until reaching the other side.

The synth work in “Jet Lag (Original Mix)” is tight, severe and sexy-spooky. The overall vibe is eternal, like a warehouse party that will never end, or a blunt cruise with a full tank of gas. Clean hi-hats and a bumping bassline light up the car radio with flashing red and purple stereo lights. Adding a metallic charm, The Developer remix bolsters the original with an industriously atmospheric flair. Like a recording of a penny factory’s internal operations, the beat is repetitive and efficient.

“Slower (Original Mix)” was a personal favorite because of the muffled vocals, muted beat, and pounding-on-the-door rhythm that reminded me of making beats on cafeteria tables. I can almost hear my middle school classmates free-styling over the thud-th-thud of our rolled up fists, silverware clinking against trays.

Robotic and motorized, Kalden Bess’s Jet Lag is futuristic in a gritty, Clockwork Orange type of way. With tireless techno beats and pristine production work, Jet Lag is a rumbling, well-oiled engine of an EP that doesn’t want to drive us anywhere but to an after-hours illegal speedway.–Rachel Haney

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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