Music

Premiere: Kai Whiston’s ‘Rubens’ Sounds Like ‘Being Trapped in a Big Oven’

Music

Premiere: Kai Whiston’s ‘Rubens’ Sounds Like ‘Being Trapped in a Big Oven’

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If you haven’t yet experienced the manic soundscapes of 17-year-old Kai Whiston, it’s likely because you’re a level-headed human without any natural inclinations to relish the dark, demonic side of existence. We, however, do not comfortably fit within that classification of “sanity,” and therefore gravitate toward the producer’s grotesque brand of violent, unforgiving electronic.

His debut EP, Houndstooth, pierced through Soundcloud this summer, with tracks like “Drag Hunt,” a frenetic soundtrack for the scene of a space shuttle pummeling toward Pluto and engaging in warfare with an alien species, as well as “Rev,” featuring blown-out bass and muddled, distorted vocals—Whiston’s most “club-friendly” cut on this project, though approachability doesn’t seem to be of any concern to the rising artist.


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After dropping the first half of his two-single TAR debut, “Threads & Strings,” the producer returns today with its follow-up, “Ruben,” which he describes as his developing discography’s most personal release. Far more atmospheric than Whiston’s previous songs, his latest echoes, warbles and fizzles, eventually slipping into a more crisp, bubbling resolution—still spacey and dizzying, just more somber than anything we’ve heard before.

“This track is probably one of my most personal ones to date,” Whiston said. “It’s pretty mint [and] sounds like being trapped in a big oven or something. A lot of songs I’ve made thus far have come from exercises of sound design and composition, but this feels like the first real track that was a deep reflection of how I felt at a particular time—how I wanted to express that in the music I wanted to make.”

Listen to the BULLETT premiere of “Rubens,” below: