‘This Room (Reprise)’ by K4LT

K4LT is from Berlin, and has called its music “a gloomy, multi layered melodical mix of avant-garde, alternative, post-punk and dark wave.” Its single, “This Room (Reprise)” gives the listener exactly what’s advertised.

The track begins with moody keyboard textures, before insistent drum percussion enters in. This percussion element is mixed with semi-psychedelic keyboard parts. In addition to the rapid drumming, one soon picks up on slower, steady pounding drumming, as well. Next, these keyboard parts begin to sound like morbid organ lines, like those often heard in a spooky old horror movie.


This intro is an especially long one. In fact, it’s at about the 50 second mark that vocals eventually come in. Thus, this musical bed is setting the table, so to speak, for the singing that comes along later. Although the vocal is passionate, it’s also buried deep within the dense mix. Just what is being sung and sung about is not entirely clear. It is, in a sense, a variety of synth-pop. This is synthesizer based and far from a driving rock and roll recording. Therefore, the dark wave label fits it well. Dark wave is a post-punk movement where Gothic sounds were given a distinctive dance beat. It’s for people that like to mope and dance – all at the same time.

About three-quarters of the way through, what sounds like someone shouting deep within the mix can be heard for a few moments. Later, one can also hear what sounds like crowd noise.

One is left to wonder what the song’s title, “This Room,” refers to. The single’s artwork pictures people (the band?) milling about around a tree. These natural elements have a lavender tint to them. This is not a room at all, though, This is a picture of people who are outside.

Yes, this is a strange little song. You may not be able to figure it all out, even after multiple listens through. Perhaps it’s meant to create a mood, instead. If so, this mood is not at all a happy one. Instead, it sounds like the soundtrack to a nightmare.

The act is from Berlin, remember, which is one of the birthplaces of synthesized music — such as this track. It is, after all, where the iconic Kraftwerk is from, too. And yet, Kraftwerk had a humanity to its music. And still does. While many times cold and distant sounding, Kraftwerk songs also have humor in them. The group may have been experimental, sonically, but at the same time, these Germans knew/know how to create actual memorable songs. This is not to say K4LT is not blessed with these same abilities; it’s just to point out that – at least with this track – the coldness comes off just a little too cold, and the message (meaning the sung lyrics) are just a little too obscured by the instrumentation. With that said, though, this single is intriguing and ought to make you want to hear more from the act. Synth-based music is still a fascinating genre to explore and K4LT explores it well with this track.

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-Dan MacIntosh