God love a good EP. Like an episode of Game of Thrones, a solid miniature platter of sound can both satiate and leave room for some sweet anticipatory ache. Similarly, the best ones are always contained, providing a larger picture of an artist while standing on its own as a rewarding experience.
Warehouses is one of these experiences. Kane Ikin’s latest EP is one of the most satisfying, promise-brimmed missives of the year so far, hanging tough with the likes of Rainer Veil, Container, and Dean Blunt. It starts out not too disimilarly from Ikin’s previous, mostly beatless ambient work, before ushering in a ghostly, anemic funk groove, snaking its way through debris-strewn alleyways. A pulsing beat pattern gradually emerges, flanked by a whirring cacophony that gradually dissipates to reveal a post-apocalyptic (I know, I know — I’m sick of it too. But if the shoe fits…) saunter as bracingly chromey cool as anything on Portishead’s last album. Before you know it, a dead-end is reached, steps seem untraceable, and whatever is hovering above your head you dare not look at.
Things don’t get any less interesting from the title track on, perhaps just a little more short-lived. “BNR” sports a fetching echosome, scuttled skip beat with some chilly dulcet tones shooting a curt, steady glance into the narrowing horizon. There’s something almost throwback-like about the accessibility of this track. It’s like a lost choice Odd Nosdam beat, miraculously rescued from the nasaly sing-song chatterings of WHY? and Doseone. Perhaps this user-friendliness is why the last entry is so surprising. As a parting glance, “April” rides a bed of pitch-bent, self-destruct-countdown synths and tribal beats that shatter the relatively staid subterranean crawls of the preceding songs. We are left with panic, when it seemed we were on our way to some sort of numbly swaddling bunker.
Warehouses isn’t a particularly filled-out EP, though it is a solid 20 minutes long. Much like all This Thing releases, this sexy-ass tape is an intriguing artifact all its own. And thanks to the slick video for the title track, one can immerse themselves in that curious basketball torture chamber sculpture gracing the cover art. Can’t wait to see what this guy does next (and please don’t tell me it’s a cLOUDDEAD comeback album or I’ll have to eat this here shoe)!