Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “Dark Darkness” by CHLLNGR from the 2011 album Haven on Green Owl.
CHLLNGR is actually the pseudonym of Copenhagen-based producer Steve Borth, born and raised in California and currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Best known for his remixes for The XX and MIA, CHLLNGR draws from a variety of sources (dub, bass music, R&B) and musical influences — rocksteady and old school 60’s Jamaican music — to create a unique, yet highly accessible, style that doesn’t neatly fit inside any particular genre. Before Haven, Borth hadn’t really played around with straight up electronic music, using all electronics, yet his new album has a dark and haunted vibe, combining the darkest elements of his bass heavy dub influenced roots with more familiar R&B pop. Our featured song, “Dark Darkness,” is one of the stand out tracks from the album and a excellent example of his new work. CHLLNGR also co-produced an EP with Sub Pop’s Spoek Mathambo. File under: James Blake, Dedication, Street Halo.
CHLLNGR was scheduled to perform Decibel Festival this past week but had to cancel last minute (for many artists who canceled, visa issues were the cause). But maybe you can catch up with him on Facebook and listen to more of his music on Soundcloud. Right now, you can check out the video for “Ask For,” the first single on the new album: