Dark Dwellings was released on July 29th 2015 as Digital Download and three track mini CDr limited to 30 hand numbered copies of which 5 were randomly signed by the artist.
CDr label nr. CScd007
All music by CS²
Mastering: Mike Kramer
Artwork: Mike Kramer
More music and info at:
In the southern Dutch city of Heerlen nobody is interested in finding the perfect pop song. Since the mines closed in the late seventies the city is left with all kinds of social and economical problems. During the cultural spring a couple of years ago it seems to have revived itself, but after the city cut backs on spending on culture Heerlen is back were it started. That’s okay. With one of the most interested street art scenes in The Netherlands, a healthy hip hop community and some of the most innovative dance producers (Raadsel, Luisterwaar, Kijk ene Ster, Subp Yoa) the city is an interesting place for underground culture.
Artist, curator and producer Mike Kramer was born in the vicinity of Heerlen, moved to Amsterdam but came back. As the curator of the electronic art and music festival (h)ear - experimental audio research he is one of the key-figures in the Heerlen underground. After making some excellent techno-tracks for a couple of commissioned assignments, Kramer started producing experimental ambient techno as Core Shift on CD and cassette. CS² is his new moniker, combining his love for the dark and overwhelming sound of Godflesh, Scorn and various Kevin Martin projects as well as the alienating ambient techno of GAS and Basic Channel. The three tracks on Dark Dwellings sound uncanny, rough and, on the other hand, introvert, distant and reassuring. Even though it is full of tension, slow and estranging like a repetitive ritual to exorcise demons, it still carries a glimpse of hope. (author: Theo Ploeg)
Kilte verdrijft de warmte. Mike Kramer heeft al diverse malen de webpagina’s van Ravage weten te halen met uitgaven van het ambient-project Core Shift. CS2 of Core Shift Square is zijn volgende project waarmee Kramer voortborduurt op de Core Shift traditie, al zijn binnen CS2 de beats dominanter aanwezig.
De eerste uitgave betrof een 20 minuten durende cassette, The Initiation, uitgegeven door het muzieklabel Lage Landen Lawaai, inmiddels uitverkocht maar online nog wel te beluisteren. Kramers meest recente uitgave, Dark Dwellings, past goed binnen de traditie van dark ambient. Donkere zware kille klanken overstemmen de synthesizer klanken die sterk lijken op Core Shift. De tegenstelling tussen de warme klanken en de kilte van de beats is krachtig.
De opbouw van de cd-3 is goed gekozen. Night Terror is een bijna 10 minuten durende track met een almaar doorgaande beat waar omheen de klankpartijen cirkelen. Track twee bevat door minimale ritmebreaks meer afwisseling. Het laatste nummer, Tension, bestaat vooral uit zware ritmische klanken met de nodige reverb. De verstilling komt halverwege wanneer de synthesizer het klankspectrum verbreedt. CS2 is een waardige aanvulling op het oeuvre van Mike Kramer die krachtig doorgaat op de weg welke hij met Core Shift heeft ingezet. (author: Jan Kees Helms)
The number 2 should be in subscript; you can read it as Core Shift Square or whatever else you like to do. Core Shift, you may remember, is Mike Kramer's project for all things ambient and techno (or techno and ambient which ever you think prevails in there). He has made a small number of great recordings (see Vital weekly 988 and 940 for instance). Time to do an offshoot and chance the menu a bit. Kramer himself writes: "CS² produces loud beats with layered repetitive sounds slowly altering creating an intense character, live resulting in a more ‘ritualistic’ experience" and this is surely the case here. The release opens with 'Night Terror', which takes up about half the release. It's a very minimal piece of dark pounding rhythm and eerie synths that intertwine. Spooky? Yes, certainly. But not spooky enough for the entire amount of time. 'The Forgotten' is about six minutes and has more variation, as in 'has more breaks' and changeovers. The same eerie feel comes from the synthesizers, which reminded me of the mother ship project, but of course less ambient. In 'Tension' the title is created by the use of reverb and being the shortest piece the minimalism works quite well. I am not yet sure about CS²; maybe three pieces isn't enough to form a well-balanced opinion about a new project. This might all be a bit too dark for my taste, but I guess the future will tell. (author: Frans de Waard)
CS² is the noisy spin-off from Mike Kramer’s Techno|Ambient project Core Shift. CS² produces loud(er) beats with layered repetitive sounds slowly altering creating an intense character, live resulting in a more ‘ritualistic’ experience.
CS² can be pronounced as Core Shift square, or whatever you feel suites you.