In an interview from 2010, Ka§par referred to his music as “out of the norm” and cited his Portuguese residence as a contributing factor that kept him from breaking through. In this day and age, geographic location plays less of a role in deciding artist viability than the former. Ka§par’s style is nominally house, but walks an interesting and perhaps paradoxical line of jazzy chords and shuffling percussion with club-friendly effects and occasionally vocal driven. His recent Ode To The Ancients EP stays close to that course but offers some intriguing bypasses, as well.
The title track is highlighted by a moody chord progression, vocal calls that sound like bird squawks, and dense, clattering percussion before a spacey breakdown and rebuild occurs. It feels familiar, but the percussive intricacies and a wobbly bass set it apart. On “Twin Sparkle,” Ka§par provides a more utilitarian track, using an analog bass line reminiscent of early Chicago house, seesawing hi-hats, and melisma-like vocals from himself. The lead synth melody and the vocal usage are memorable but the stabs and derivative bass don’t do it any favors. “Able To Find,” on the flip, evokes an altogether different vibe, incorporating a stuttered, syncopated rhythm, syrupy Rhodes and a whistling synth melody. Promo descriptions have referred to it as “post-dubstep,” but with a soulful vocal it bears greater resemblance to earlier broken beat styling. Ross McMillan, working as Carlos Nilmmns, delivers a remix of “Able To Find” which lands in a luscious deep house grotto. He heavily processes the vocal until it sounds like slurred alien speak, adds spacey atmospherics and employs a sluggish rhythm that moves from raw, minimal percussion to a clattering hi-hat and snare boogie. It’s the layered piano lines brought in during the breakdown, however, that raise this remix to great heights. It’s a short segment late in the track, but the jazzy soloing demands attention and stays rooted in your head long afterward. The Ode To The Ancients EP seems to prove that Ka§par’s strongest tracks are those which buck convention.