The most immediate characteristics of Threat, the fourth Statiqbloom LP, might come as a surprise to anyone passingly familiar with Fade Kainer’s near decade-old electro-industrial project. The focus given to 4/4 immediacy and limited use of vocals makes Threat‘s connection to the ongoing wave of TBM instantly apparent, but it still has plenty of the woozy and psychedelic sense of unease and menace which has remained Statiqbloom’s defining feature.
2020’s Beneath The Whelm staked out a particular boundary of Kainer’s work. A desolate country-folk record in spirit if not sound, it pushed the fatalistic weariness in Statiqbloom’s genome to its limit. Threat represents a reactionary swing in the opposite direction. Rapid-fire programming on “Flesh Sacrifice” and “Cost Of Lies” matches 130 BPM tempos and shoots Threat through with the sort of techno-driven energy you’d expect from an album brought to you by Adam X’s Sonic Groove. Even in ostensibly slower and more minimal compositions like “Spectral Dimension”, rhythm always remains the focus.
Once the dedicated listener adjusts to Threat‘s delivery, though, its connections to Statiqbloom’s extant legacy is easy to spot. From the claustrophobic reverb and unchained harmonics of “The Unwinding” to the poly-rhythmic pattering which is nestled between the kicks of “Shifting Field”, Threat avails itself of plenty of trademark Statiqbloom sounds to maintain the same shade of tension as records like Asphyxia and Mask Visions Poison. Even though it’s a predominantly instrumental record, when Fade’s vocals do appear, as on “Edge Scraper”, the way they’re submerged so as to blur into the low-end isn’t so different from any number of preceding tracks.
“Fade Kainer moved to Berlin and Statiqbloom released a TBM record.” That might not be the most inaccurate elevator pitch for Threat, but it does pass over the subtleties in the record itself as well as its precedents in the project’s catalog. It’s a striking lateral move which might surprise longtime listeners and draw in a few new DJs, but still very much a part of the grinding and unyielding legacy Kainer’s carved for Statiqbloom.