Gatekeeper should definitely throw down at the official Armaggeddon afterparty. The Brooklyn duo’s latest EP Young Chronos pastiches the Operetics of the Baroque with dancerific electronic beats, conjuring visions of an Eastern-Bloc warehouse rave set in Valhalla. Quirkily released on 11/11 as a free Pirate Bay torrent (also available for 300 USB tokens from Presto?!), the narrative arc of this six-tracked composition moves seamlessly from the terrifying through the beautiful, ultimately supplicating the sublime–in under 21 minutes, Young Chronos somehow manages to embody all the elements of the ideal end-of-the-world dance party.
A film trailer-esque overvoice loosely narrates the EP, commencing the adventure with the booming claim Inspired by a true story and ending it with the promise of Until next time, occasionally guiding the listener between the tracks with other distorted cinematic moments. After the narrator sets the theatrical tone, the record explodes with the intense first track, “Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven.” The macabre chanting reaches such anxiety-inducing heights within the first two-and-a-half minutes it seems able to split the sky above any live venue into two, revealing an almost-holy post-apocalyptic disco.
The momentum of Young Chronos is in the tension between the monstrous howls crescendoing to cathedral-heights and the subsequent crashing of tidal rave grooves. For a moment at the start of the jungly “Harvest,” the terrible angel chants of the opening track subside just long enough for the narrator to set the scene somewhere 400 years ago. . . before raging deeper into the first of the EP’s two most danceable tracks perhaps best described as Soviet Garage; the last track, “Hanseatic,” builds infinitely on the sweat-inspiring beats of “Harvest.”
At the center of the record is the melodic trance-inspired “Imperatix,” a track that best embodies a reconciliation between the highs and the lows, the operatic and the beat-driven. These rivaling genre-bending soundwaves spill out from the center of this track, echoing throughout the entire EP, demonstrating that without darkness there can’t be any light.
If Gatekeeper’s vision is not obvious in the composition of Young Chronos itself, maybe the title tells it all: the serpentine, three-headed Greek god Chronos coiled around the primal egg of existence, squeezing it until it split to form the earth, the sea, and the sky. Gatekeeper similarly cracks open electronic music to create entire galaxies of sound.
Article by Alexandria Wojcik