Colombian producer KhoMha has been having a good year. His distinctively dark style of trance has heavy radio show approval, with especially enthusiastic support from Markus Schulz, who has taken KhoMha under the wing of his personal label Coldharbour Recordings, even naming him Coldharbour Artist of the Year in 2011. His new EP The Dark Knight introduces three unpretentious productions under the Coldharbour Red sublabel. All of them are united by the same fairly minimal style that makes KhoMha’s productions so effective, and yet sound entirely distinct from one another.
The Dark Knight’s title track rides on an incredibly deep bassline—the kind that makes a statement not by being unavoidably punchy or electro-gritty, but by being a calm, resonant room-filler that commands attention. The slow escalation of energy in the rest of the track is almost secondary, but masterfully done. Days Gone Bye has a perplexing title—wordplay attempt?—but also a gentler overall feel, with a more traditionally trance-friendly break filled out with sweeping strings and a contemplative melody that’s punctuated by a very strong drop, which carries momentum straight through to the end of the relatively short track. Think About Me rounds out the EP with a no-nonsense marching pace; third time’s not necessarily the charm, though, as I think it’s the weak point of the EP, but the first two tracks set the bar high.
Though the tracks on The Dark Knight aren’t dramatic or garnished by a dizzying number of layered effects—as some trance tracks need to be, to keep a listener’s attention—each sound is deliberately placed and well-crafted. Quality over quantity, indeed.