by James Glazebrook
Mysterious Berlin producer Kareem popped up on my radar last week, when Boomkat dedicated their 14 Tracks selection to him. I can’t decide if I prefer their description of the Zhark Recordings chief…
Since 1996 Berlin’s Kareem has forged a steely, blackened body of work spanning Industrial Techno, Hip Hop and Drone… minimal and broodingly cinematic feel… girder-strength, pneumatic pounders… set his sound with a resolutely gloomy and dystopian mood
…or his own…
the Zharkesthetic lies in conveying a claustrophobic state > an atmosphere of threatening sound architecture and almost static soundwalls
Whichever way you slice it, this isn’t easy listening. Kareem’s hip hop work is scowling and downcast, his industrial productions suitably hard-line, and his techno tunnels deep. But while his back catalogue drills seams between the Tresor old school and Berghain’s new breed (Emika, Tommy Four Seven), his experiments with different styles are too varied to ever feel like actual punishment.
Check out this Zhark video – which must date back to the label’s early days – and, if you’re feeling brave, visit Boomkat to download 14 Tracks: The Unheimlich Manoeuvres of Kareem. Stay strong.