Siberian techno powerhouse Nina Kraviz is the magnetic combination of ridiculously attractive and musically brilliant. With the physical appearance of a Bond villainess (in the best possible way), Kraviz has also released work with crème de la crème of underground dance music (Underground Quality, Naif, BPitch Control, Tsuba), and has found what seems to be a true home at Radio Slave's Rekids label. After a strong premiere single from her first full-length album, with single “Ghetto Kraviz” topping many DJ charts at the beginning of 2012, Kraviz's self-titled LP is surprisingly mellow.
Sonically sparse, the fourteen tracks that make up the album feature a general trend of breathy, aching vocals and subtle rhythmic elements. Typical of Rekids releases, the idea of “minimal techno” isn't so much in minute kicks and clicks but strong, stripped down ideas that give the sounds room to breathe. This method of mixing and mastering makes the entire album sound massive, even in its incredible intimacy. Though it is not necessarily a dance record but an album of electronic music (excepting the premiere single—a DJ tool, really), listening on headphones does not do this work justice. It is an LP made for late night drives and gray afternoons in solitude, or perhaps a real after-hours set.
Though its subtly could probably be mistaken for simply being boring, Nina Kraviz first artist album is anything but dull. It is a deep mood piece in which Kraviz proves herself more than a dancefloor phenomenon and flexes some musical muscle beyond clubland, into a place far more ethereal and haunted. This work will not appeal to everyone, but it is undoubtedly worth spending time with—even studying—for its sonic merit and ability to create a mood. Powerful stuff. You can pick up the LP here via Juno.