Tag Archives: seattle

Spaciously Heavy New Album From Portland’s Natasha Kmeto!

On a random whim today I heard about a brand new album release from an artist I’ve heard a bit from, seen a few times, and met once or twice: Natasha Kmeto.  I first heard about Natasha through a series of events from Live’n’Love Productions up in Seattle, run by an old homie, Kyle.  Somehow Kyle had stumbled across her (as she’s from Portland, OR), and started booking her at random L’n’L events.  Believe I eventually saw her at one of the Photosynthesis Festivals of years past, and I remember being fairly stoked at how avant-garde the approach was to her own music.  I’ve since moved to the middle of no where California, and only heard a tiny snippets about her, here and there, until today.

It’s not often I toss down $10 for a 30-minute album without having heard most of it, but knowing she’s in the extended Fam, I went for it – and I’m quite happy I did.  The album starts out with the title track ‘Crisis‘, potentially my favorite off the album after a few listens.  Synth heavy and semi-retro sounding, her gut-wrenching vocal pulses wash over you as a very minimal trap beat exercises itself beneath all the other layers.  If all trap sounded like this, I’d listen to a lot more of it.  The album progresses into ‘Idiot Proof‘ which brings to the table a more vocal oriented track, letting everyone know that she ‘needs peace from all the things she’s supposed to be’.  Not knowing Natasha well enough, I’m not exactly sure what she’s talking about, but she gets the point across easily in minor chords with a very distant house beat in the background, surrounded by heavily arpeggiated synths.

The album is very mature, spacing out the tracks where her voice is the focal point, with many tracks consisting of clever vocal layers without any real singing in between.  I rather enjoy when someone who does get into vocals, uses them in this way, so that the entire album isn’t dominated with literary opinion, allowing other tracks to emotionally speak for themselves, without getting the ego involved.  ‘Take Out‘ is another vocal heavy house oriented track that has a very spaced out 80’s synth-wavey atmosphere, again, politely spacious – making it is quite obvious that Natasha truly knows how to make sure her sound voids are never messy.  Though it seems strange to admit, the album really has a dark and futuristic R&B setting going on throughout, which turns out to be quite rather brilliant.  I can’t really say it sounds like much else I’ve heard, even lately.

Overall, the spaciousness, the darker tones, and the very minimal usage of many points in electronic music make this album quite a solid output in my book.  My one complaint – it’s just too short!  Multiple of these tracks have me going strong at about two and a half minutes, and then they’re done!  I’ve never understood why certain artists love to build people up, just to drop them…Mount Kimbie and Odesza are a few others to name randomly – the builds are there, it crescendos, and finishes.  Personally I enjoy more time inside these fantastic spaces created by the artists.  That said, it’s not my music, and Natasha has created a short, but incredibly solid LP here.  Highly recommended!

More info on Natasha and the link to purchase the album (on tape for $7 if you’d like!) below:

http://www.natashakmeto.com/
http://droppinggems.bandcamp.com/album/crisis

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~ CRAFT BEER REVIEW for DOGFISH HEAD’s NEW ‘POSITIVE CONTACT’ ~

3.6 out of 5

AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20 Well, you got to give it to them.  DFH continues to pump out some really odd and wild ideas with their brews.  Some really hit it, some do not.  After hearing this one was going to be more on the actual “limited” status (aka 66 cases of 6 to the state of Washington, with many stores selling one-per-custy), I hopped on it as soon as I caught wind when it was going to be released, as I just happened to be in a larger city (Seattle) when it dropped.  Found one at Whole Foods downtown, they got 12 bottles total.  What made this interesting was that the beer guy at WF didn’t know what was coming with Positive Contact.  I informed him that inside each case, in his case twice, was a brand new 10″ from Deltron 3030’s Dan The Automater.  Gangster.  Anyways, I attempted to score one of the two records, failing unfortunately.  Grabbed one of the twelve for $12.99+tax (thankfully not any more than that) and went on my merry way to an epic weekend of glamping upon glamping in The Meadow. Upon opening the bottle in the Meadow, a light apple esther comes wafting out the bottle, speckled with hints of yeast.  A deep pale gold pours into the glasses. Hints of the spices start to hit the nostrils a bit more once the brew sits in the glass, but these notes are not overpowering.  Once the brew hits the tongue an overall sense of many flavor notes step in slowly one after the other: citrus, green and yellow apples, muffled peppery spice, and straw…which transmute into what mainly seems to be a light cider.  Definitely don’t believe I’d tasted anything quite like it before.  That said, the flavors, while noticeable, were unfortunately faint in their delivery.  The cider note takes you through the finish with a polite hint of the 9% ABV, but does not linger for all that long.  I was happy that the token malt characteristics of many DFH brews over the past 5 years were not present for the most part!  A novel idea mostly pulled of once again, but it could use just a tiny kick in general for my tastes.  Nice work to whomever got a plate with their brew!

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