Premiere: Jerusalem's Karkait Channel Grindcore and Black Metal in Blazing New Track
Karkait catapulted itself into consciousness straight out of the Jerusalem underground/experimental music scene sometime mid-2019 with their stunning debut EP Yekum//Kiyum [“Universe//Existence”]. Like a fully-formed object of bizarre beauty and unrelenting passion Yekum//Kiyum was, to me, as well as to those paying attention, a landmark release in both local and international terms. Combining the unchecked violence of grindcore, the pensive intellectualism of late-90s metalcore, and the artistic ambition and poetic expression that can be traced all the way from Dischord bands such as Hoover and The Crownhate Ruin and all the way to such The Flenser artists as Wreck and Reference or Planning for Burial, that release represented the unlikely yet perfect marriage of rage and sensitivity, as if the EP itself was violently fighting to get out of a deep well of emotional nothingness. As if it was the rallying cry of getting off the fucking couch and doing shit that mattered.
All of which was more than enough reason for me to, as the great James Joyce once wrote, lose my shit, effectively begging anyone with a brain to take a listen to these fledgling giants, as well as including them in our 2019 best of list, asking Karkait to participate in our debut compilation MILIM KASHOT VOL. 1; and happily name dropping them like a busy bee, such as in this interview with Stereogum's great Black Market. More than anything I was just hoping that the universe (Yekum) would wise up from its miserable, apathetic existence (Kiyum) and for some label/person to give these artists the platform they deserve. The first to wise up was Tel Aviv label Orgasmatron Records with a limited tape run that at least solidified Karkait in the bedrock of reality. But it was time for the rest of the world to wise up, and now, at last they have.
Karkait’s upcoming EP Yevul is to be released April 9 through Wolves and Vibrancy Records, offering not only the band’s label debut but also, by coupling it with the aforementioned Yekum//Kiyum, a piece of cosmic justice. And Yevul finds the Jerusalem trio after some servicing. The manic energy is still there, the incessant tension between release and restraint is still there, but all filtered through a greater emphasis on crafting songs and recording them properly. Which isn’t to say that this is a civilized version of Karkait – I highly doubt such a thing exists – but a more considered one, finding ways to do what they do best – grinding existential unease – through a wider palette of sounds and moods that range from 2000s hardcore to black-metal tremolo riffs.
I guess I could have just started this piece with: “Here’s the new Karkait single, have at it,” and perhaps that would have been a wiser choice. But I am way too excited for this to drop, way too anxious for the world to give these artists their due, and way too fond of the sound of my own writing voice. Here’s “Tlet Melet.” Go fuck some shit up.