Karin Park
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Karin Park

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE
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The show goes up late. The crowd is small but will grow and grow until the night draws to a close. The lights spin in cycles across the floor, bewildering and wrong-footing all that walk across it. Drinks aren’t necessary when even the room feels like its tripping and you’re part of it.

Support comes from the fantastic The Voyeurist who gain a whole new set of followers from a brief but astonishing set that draws on influences such as New Order, My Bloody Valentine and Daphne’s Purple Closet. Then, things slump as a man in a pig mask comes on, chanting about Satan and looping his vocals into a Dantean drone that even Current 93 would envy. Finally and magnificently Karin Park takes the stage, heralded by her brother David Park who, clad in leathers and Slayer t-shirt, assumes his place at a huge drum-kit and enlivens proceedings a thousand-fold with precise yet visceral drumming that kick-starts the pelvic chakras of all assembled. Karin, tall, thin, elegant and beautiful, resembles an idealised Bride of Frankenstein with her high black quiff, a white top with built-on skeletal ribs, black shorts and mottled white and black tights that cover her long, long legs; legs that have been lengthened further by use of built up ‘Frankenstein’ boots. She looks androgynous, she looks amazing. And she’s got perfect skin.

The set kicks off – via a long drum workout – with “Tiger Dreams”, and it becomes obvious that the addition of David to this synth and sequencer experience lifts Karin’s already sensually excellent electronic palette to a new and almost erotically charged height. Karin moves to the music, writhing and throwing shapes that haven’t been seen since David Byrne first fronted Talking Heads and her stage presence is quite striking. “Explosions” undergoes a vibrant re-interpretation with the drums taking a more traditional ‘rock’ approach that defies the clinical sound used on record. But this tune dances like early Depeche Mode and the audience know that. This is music they can really move to. “Wild Child” is spirited and enthusiastic, the bass notes vibrating the room into a kind of pre-ecstatic trance, ready for one of Karin’s stand-out works – “Fryngies”. By now the crowd, which has blossomed considerably, are writhing themselves, eyes are closed, heads are swaying like they can’t contain the gentle, sexy massage of the music. This is mass hypnosis and Karin – on synths and keyboards of all descriptions – and David – god of drums – have the audience exactly where they want them.

The highlight of the evening is (as with the Highwire Poetry album) “Thousand Loaded Guns”, here taking its cue from the recently released single version, emphasising the ‘thriller’ chord sequences beneath the dance beats. And boy, does it build. The crowd are frenzied now and Karin looks like she can’t quite believe how much they’re into this. It’s epic, it’s triumphant and when the siblings drum together, bouncing off each other, the electricity in the room is tangible. This is what gigs should be like (and in such an intimate space too!). It almost seems improbable that this performance can be topped, so when “Restless” comes in to finish the show, there’s a sense that nothing good can come of it. But it does. This is Karin’s element: beautiful vocals and the loveliest retro synth sounds you can imagine, all of which builds to a beautiful and mesmerising finish.

The applause is massive and David even gets another solo workout at the drums. It seems clear tonight that Karin Park is one of those rare exceptions in music of true quality in that she is able to top her recorded self by being even better live, and with the support of her brother, this makes her quintessential as a live artist. If there can be a criticism, then it falls at the omission of other stand-out tracks such as “New Era” or the slower and more tender masterpiece “Bending Albert’s Law” (as a closer, perhaps). But that’s simply a matter of preference. This is live music at its best and Karin Park is at the top of that game. - Drunken Warewolf


Karin Park is one of Scandinavia’s latest batch of celebrated musical exports, but despite Highwire Poetry being her debut UK full-length, she’s certainly not an unknown quantity. Indeed, having already won two Norwegian Grammies she arrives at our similarly frigid shores with a fair old pedigree, so it comes as no surprise that she packs a punch. Having lived as a young child in a remote Swedish village and for years in a Japanese missionary school, one can only hope Park’s music acts as a conduit for what must surely be rather a unique perspective on things.

The first thing you’ll probably note about the young Swedish singer is that her voice sounds like a remarkable cross between Bjork and Karin Dreijer Andersson (of The Knife and Fever Ray fame). It has an arresting, almost naive quality to it, but golly can Park sing. And sing she does, frequently experimenting with melody, pushing its boundaries, often toying with dissonance, always considering how she can use the pulsing, industrial electro as a springboard. And on tracks such as ‘New Era’ Karin’s voice really does reach some giddy heights.

As springboards go, the analogue synths and acoustic drums (courtesy of her brother David) stay taut and powerful throughout, never used as mere “backing”, always interestingly layered and composed, no matter how referential they are to the aforementioned electro-sirens. On ‘Explosions’ a near sub-sonic hum gives the track an air of real menace, punctuated as the drums kick in like lightning punching through a broiling storm. ‘6000 Years‘ is even more industrial, an abrasive synth hit repeats over synthetic sounds and a sinister vocal line; it’s not exactly a low point of the album, but is a touch unrelenting: Karin at her most experimental and introverted.

Then, ‘Thousand Loaded Guns‘ kicks in, all rapid-fire ’80s and string motif, probably one of the most epic, catchy and energetic tracks of the album. It’s testament to the versatility of these ten tracks that, despite a real juxtaposition, a sense of journey nevertheless is able to coalesce.

Once you’ve absorbed some of the more testing moments, your concentration is freed up to grasp the slightly surreal poetry of Park’s lyrics too, “Like a pirouette that has nowhere to go but doesn’t know it yet” being a particular favourite. It’s the cherry on a slightly gothic looking cake. Highwire Poetry is a beguiling listen I keep returning to; at first it was to try and understand the nuances, now it’s to revel in the harsh synth wobbles and that voice that gets under your skin like a half-remembered dream. Utter post-Bjork brilliance. - The Line Of Best Fit




On this album's cover shot, Karin Park almost presents herself as "Gaby Numan". It's a look that doesn't exactly clash with the contents. The striking Swede cites both Gary Numan and Depeche Mode as influences on her gloomy and brooding electronic music.

However, Highwire Poetry is no synth-pop pastiche turning up late to the 80s revival party. Dubstep and industrial are also touchstones, while Park owes a clear debt to the creepy soundscapes of Fever Ray, with whom she shares a producer, Christoffer Berg. When Park calls her sound "electro goth", it's difficult to object.

Park doesn't wear her influences lightly, but she's dynamic enough to fashion her own distinct style. The claustrophobia and longing in songs like Fryngies, Wildchild and Tiger Dreams seems to reflect her unusual upbringing: Park grew up in a remote Swedish town before being sent to a Japanese missionary school untouched by Western culture. It's no surprise she turned out pretty intense. "She licks your hair with a reptile tongue while she wraps her arms around you," isn't a line the average Sylvia Young graduate might write.

The upshot of this intensity is that Highwire Poetry lacks light and shade. To be precise, it lacks light. However, thanks to a few musical curveballs, the album never gets stuck in a sonic rut. A more experimental track called 6000 Years almost sounds like a zombie hymn. Thousand Loaded Guns answers the question: "What might a collaboration between Karin Dreijer Andersson and Giorgio Moroder sound like?" After beginning in menacing electro mode, all prickly blips and stomach-churning bass, Explosions breaks into an unexpectedly bouncy chorus.

Not that Park's melodic gifts were ever in doubt. Being a Scandinavian pop artist with well-honed songwriting skills – this is her first album to receive a UK release, but fourth overall – Park can do hooks as well as spooks. Factor in her fantastic voice, flexible enough to recall both Shirley Manson and Björk, and Highwire Poetry becomes an arresting introduction. Meet Karin Park: a new goth friend who really is electric.
- BBC


Posted by Triggs at 29/05/2012 13:12:00

Having built a steady following with the release of her UK debut Tiger Dreams (check the remix from Photek), follow up Restless (Ladytron & Genetix) and a stream of live shows, thought provoking blogs and architectural good looks Scandinavian electronic pop princess Karin Park beams down to Earth with her captivating long player Highwire Poetry.

Negotiating the finest tightrope walk between electronica, pop, fine songwriting and in the best tradition of the recent merging of genres, Highwire Poetry manages the sensational feat of drawing obscure influences to make an album that sounds like nothing else to great effect. Beautifully produced in the most articulate manner from co-producers Barry Barnett and Christoffer Berg (Fever Ray, The Knife), which benefits from a push-pull merging of styles and, thankfully, space for Karin’s own personality to pour through in a drenching of industrial Avant-garde, 80’s pop and electronica.

Parallels have most obviously been drawn with Bjork, and much has been made of Karin’s Norwegian Grammys but something more exciting is at play, a struggle between the old and the new, a dizzying mix of the dark, ethereal, filmic and anthemic.

Such contradictions are apparent in the perfect pop bounciness of Explosions with shades of La Roux in the soaring chorus juxtaposed with plunging darkness in the verses. Anthemic moments of New Era “it’s unmistakable it’s a New Era” an eerie, melodic, slow burner that reaches the end of its fuse before exploding into an enormous wall of sound. Shades of dubstep, perhaps even grime are apparent in the dark bass and drum patterns of Fryngies (check FuntCase remix) and Tiger Dreams "I'm the runner and the hunted", and roof-raising house in the galloping Thousand Loaded Guns (with forthcoming Maya Jane Coles and Southern Cross remixes set to spin the exceptional vocal off in a deeper direction). Other highlights are the beautiful Albert’s Law co-written with Johnny McDaid the keyboard player from Snow Patrol, a pouring of emotion that wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster, Tension with its spacey pads and building vocal laid down on a bed of cross-genre drums and percussion. Just about every track is as interesting and diverse as it is compelling, a whirlwind of sub-sonic frequencies, underground influences and singer/songwriting at the highest level.

Brave doesn’t always work but in the case of Highwire Poetry there is a gritty determination to make it happen. Shining through the storm of growling bass, beats and synths, comes the experience, the personality and the genius of an exceptional artist. A New Era indeed and one of this summer’s most interesting releases to date. - Datatransmission


Karin Park has quite the backstory. Raised by hyper-religious parents and dragged around the world’s missionaries as a child, she became a bona fide popstar in Scandinavia – before being diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis was, you’ll be pleased to hear, wrong, but the shock apparently caused her to reassess her work, abandon the world of pop, and instead begin making brooding, thick, introspective-but-danceable electronica.

The Tiger Dreams EP is her first UK release. The title track is a schizophrenic thing, veering between pseudo-dupstep, bassy verse and melodic, stadium pop chorus. Throughout, though, Park’s voice remains the most obvious calling card; beautifully pitched but fragile, full of emotion.

‘Tiger Dreams’ is out 19 September – but until that date you can grab the title track for free here. - The Line of Best Fit


Swedish singer Karin Park’s new EP, ‘Tiger Dreams’, is released on 10? and digital on September 19th. The first fruits of her recent time in the studio with Christoffer Berg (Fever Ray/The Knife/Little Dragon), ‘Tiger Dreams’ rep[resents the rebirth of Karin Park as an artist and will be followed by her new album in early 2012.

A package of remixes from the likes of Photek and D1 is now up exclusively on Beatport and we've made the original mix of Tiger Dreams available as a free download via Soundcloud for the next 2 weeks, before it gets officially released.

Recent Karin Park Press
The Line of Best Fit - SONG OF THE DAY - The Tiger Dreams EP is her first UK release. The title track is a schizophrenic thing, veering between pseudo-dubstep, bassy verse and melodic, stadium pop chorus. Throughout, though, Park’s voice remains the most obvious calling card; beautifully pitched but fragile, full of emotion.

The Beat - Sounds Like Bjork and Fever Ray got together and made sweet musical babies.

Notion - A strobe induced dream with Karin’s liquid vocals that will have you reeling!

The 405 - She has evolved into something of an artist, mixing pop laden hooks, with dark electro riffs and eerie vocals. - Nerdy Frames


Welcome to the strange, magical, beautiful and dark world of Karin Park. This Swedish singer’s new EP, ‘Tiger Dreams’, will be released on 10? and digitally September 19th. The first fruits of her recent time in the studio with Christoffer Berg (Fever Ray/The Knife/Little Dragon), and will be followed by her new album in early 2012. Prepare to be pulled to the edge of your seat.

The track below heralds the immediate arrival of an extraordinary thing. The first couple bars speak directly to my love for contemporary choreography, and also to all the things I’m pissed off at. A collision of synthetic bleeps, sub bass and skittering dubstep influenced beats, all fragile and powerful at the same. Just visit Karin Park’s official website by clicking here and you’ll understand what I mean. - KICKKICKSNARE


Swedish singer Karin Park's new EP, and first release in the UK, 'Tiger Dreams' gets released on 10" and digital on September 19th. A package of remixes from the likes of Photek and D1 is now up exclusively on Beatport and so we've decided to make the original mix of Tiger Dreams available as a free download via Soundcloud for the next 2 weeks.

http://soundcloud.com/stateoftheeyerecordings/karin-park-tiger-dreams-5

In recent years Scandinavia has provided the world with some of the most original and exciting artists, ones capable of straddling the pop and experimental electronic world with ease, now “Tiger Dreams” heralds the arrival of another amazing talent, Karin Park.

Whilst Karin may be a new name to UK audiences she has already enjoyed considerable success as a Grammy winning pop star in Norway. Tiger Dreams is a radical departure from her pop past though as it sees Karin discard her past to embrace the more experimental, electronic music she has always loved.

Working with Uk based Producer and Co-writer Barry Barnett and acclaimed producer Christoffer Berg (Fever Ray/The Knife/ Little Dragon) alongside her long time musical partner and brother David Park, Karin has created her own sonic wonderland, one that combines dark pop, dubstep, electronica and industrial music with her unique voice to create something completely new and exciting.

The first fruits of this collaboration is the Tiger Dreams EP, and is the perfect introduction to Karin’s world, a world fashioned by her religious upbringing in a remote rural village in Sweden and the years spent travelling the world with her missionary parents. A world that includes stints as a singer with a vocal range from pop to opera, through to the cancer misdiagnoses that turned that world upside down and heralded her spiritual and artistic rebirth.

On lead track ‘Tiger Dreams’, Karin’s voice manages to sound both fragile and powerful at the same time as it soars over a collision of synthetic bleeps, sub bass and skittering dubstep influenced beats, the perfect soundtrack for Karin’s otherworldly narratives.

‘New Era’ slows the tempo down as industrial beats contrast with icy chimes, wordless ethereal chants and Karin’s already unmistakable voice to create something utterly alien, and with a chorus sure to send shivers up your spine.

Then we have ‘6000 Years’ an almost ambient excursion as Karin’s voice is accompanied by just the most minimal of electronic backings, the focus fully on her astonishing voice as it’s treated and manipulated to create a nightmarish lullaby, like the soundtrack to the most twisted of fairy tales.

Completing the package are remixes from some of the UK’s most acclaimed producers including Photek, who for two decades has been one of the most pioneering figures in electronic music, D1 one of the leading artists to have emerged from the dubstep explosion of the past few years, and Stupid Computer who supplies a twisted electronic rework of the track.

Welcome to the strange, magical, beautiful and dark world of Karin Park.
- ALTsounds


Discography

Singles:
A Thousand Loaded Guns 2012
Fryngies 2012
Tiger Dreams 2012
Fill it up
Superworldunknown
Masterpiece
The Bachelorette

EP:
Tiger Dreams 2012

Albums:
Highwire Poetry 2012
Superworldunknown
Change your mind

Photos

Bio

Swedish electro-goth royalty Karin Park announces the release of her highly anticipated new album ‘Highwire Poetry’ on the 28th May.

Following the release of her UK debut last September with critically acclaimed EP ‘Tiger Dreams’, Karin Park is a new name to many outside of Scandinavia, while at home Karin has already picked up two Norwegian Grammy’s and recently supported Azari & III and SBTRKT on their European tour dates.

Karin’s unique blend of moody electronica, dark yet hooky choruses and her spell-binding voice all showcase her passion for industrial, experimental 80’s pop and the electronic sounds of today’s club-land; with early R1 supporters including Zane Low, Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Rob De Bank and Giles Peterson. Recorded with producers Barry Barnett and Christoffer Berg (Fever Ray, The Knife) the album explores Karin’s fascinations with spirituality, sexuality, power, love and hate.

Removed from the world as a child living in a remote Swedish town, Karin’s deeply religious upbringing and experiences, including a three year stint in a Japanese missionary school, have provided her with a distance from reality, allowing us to see the world anew through her eyes on this album.

Live, Karin has proved she’s a forced to reckoned with; her captivating beauty, standing tall at 6ft 3” like an Amazonian electro-gothic warrior, her vocals range from pop to opera and her effortless fluidity of intense vocal performance is accompanied by raw musicianship as Karin graces the keys of analogue synths and struts a white 80’s inspired Keytar across the front of the stage while her Viking drummer of a brother David Park kicks out the dark rhythmic beats on of the songs.

Karin’s live sets are undeniably electrifying, pushing musical boundaries and encapsulating what it is to be a truly modern artist while dodging any approaching pigeon-holes.