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Combining elements of dub and R&B with a nocturnal aesthetic, Copenhagen-based producer CHLLNGR (aka Steven Jess Borth II) is one of the freshest sounds to emerge so far this year. After a slew of well-received remixes (The XX, Primary 1, MIA) and involvement with acts Cubic Zirconia, Spoek Mathambo, and Teachers all signs point to 2011 being a good year for the young producer. Utilizing thick and heavy rhythms while optimistic melodies juxtapose against eerie soundscapes, CHLLNGR's debut "Haven" is his most focused, distinctive work to date.Read More...
While cohesive in it's murky, hauntingly reverbed vibes, "Haven" is far from monochromatic and full of surprises with spectral soul tightly intertwining with meticulous rhythms that can't easily be classified. Deep sub-frequencies and decaying atmospheres lay the foundation for the sublime set of melodic, moody tracks.
The opener "May 3" sets the tone marrying carefully cut drone loops and sampled vocals floating overtop subtle, skittering riddims. Lending his own vocals to the the first single "Ask For", the airy trunk-rattler comes correct with G-Funk synth hooks snaking through the rhythmic maze CHLLNGR creates. Never sounding out of place within the music, the vocals seamlessly integrate into the music often in wordless forms adding more depth to the already emotive interplay of CHLLNGR's electronic palette.