CS + Kreme record slow, hallucinatory experimental music.
Over the past few years, CS + Kreme have released a string of disparate records on DIY labels which share their ethos: Total Stasis, Wichelroede and the Trilogy Tapes. The latter collaborations with Will Bankhead have been the most prolific, his label becoming an unofficial home away from home for the duo. Issuing EPs Cold Shoulder in 2018, howwouldyoufeelwithoutthatthought, as well as the Snoopy LP to critical acclaim in 2020.
Snoopy is their most comprehensive body of work to date. It connected deeply with people during the pandemic and polled high in various end of year lists with prominent electronic musical outlets such as Resident Advisor, XLR8R, Crack Magazine and Boomkat who dubbed it: “An absolute treasure of an album – a quietly seductive, deeply romantic and stealthily addictive long-player in the most classic, enduring sense.”
Transcending style and space, CS + Kreme don’t follow a philosophy with making music, what they do is more fluid. Drawn like moths to the liminal state, they write slow and meditative “horizontal-music” which takes in heavy dub processing, sweeping post-punk and chamber music soundscapes, anchored around Standish’s leftfield bass guitar. In Karmel’s words, “Inherently, there are influences that come through without us even realising. It’s kind of that cliche where people put their two cents forward for what our influences are, but I don’t think we’ve set out to be like anyone or anything.”
Both seasoned musicians, Standish and Karmel together hold a rich history of collaborations in successful experimental groups such as: F ingers, Bum Creek, Standish/Carlyon and Devastations, to name a few. Most recently they have collaborated with composer James Rushford who played portative organ on Snoopy and cellist Judith Hamann who contributed to “April Fools Day”, off howwouldyoufeelwithoutthatthought.
YL Hooi is the project of Valya Ying-Li Hooi, inhabiting a subtle and mysterious realm of furtive, dubbed-out song, sparse electronic percussion, and distant winds. Active in the Melbourne underground scene since 2017, Hooi is a member of Kallista Kult (with Sam Karmel and Tarquin Manek) and has recorded and performed with artists including Jonnine Standish (HTRK), Jarrod Zlatic (Fabulous Diamonds) and Rohan Rebeiro (My Disco).
Her debut album Untitled (first released on cassette by Altered States Tapes in 2019 and reissued on LP by Efficient Space in 2021) was widely praised, finding a spot on many year end lists including the number 1 spot on Boomkat’s Discoveries list and being described by Boomkat as ‘an immaculately frayed conception of dubwise dream-pop’. Moving seamlessly from angelic song to gritty tape gunk, Hooi’s work opens onto a multitude of genres and directions while retaining a distinctly personal stamp through her obsessively zoned-out dub production tactics. ‘These are songs that seem to emerge in plumes of smoke, magician’s tricks conjured from the ether’ (World of Echo).
Both live and in the studio, Hooi’s work is produced in close collaboration with Tarquin Manek (known for his eponymous solo work on Blackest Ever Black, as well as a swathe of aliases including LST and Static Cleaner Lost Reward, and membership of groups including Kallista Kult and F ingers). In the live setting, the pair use voice, trumpet, bass clarinet, guitar, bass, drum machines and synths to reimagine the carefully produced studio material anew for each performance, keenly aware of improvisational possibilities and the vicissitudes of audience, venue, and acoustic space.
Touching on the fringes of many genres and traditions – post-punk, minimal synth, dub, krautrock – Hooi’s protean music is haunted and seductive, her voice trailing off into an echoed infinity anchored to body-shaking foundations.