Form of Release
Unified by dub's loose sense of space and deep sub-frequencies, CHLLNGR's unique amalgam of soul, pop, stripped-down beats, and decaying atmospheres has earned the Copenhagen-based artist, Steven Jess Borth II, adulation from press and peers alike. The nocturnal, murky worlds of his debut Haven and its follow-up EP Datter alluded to subtle pop possibilities featuring Borth's soft-touch vocals woven into structures indebted to modern R&B's sleek minimalism and the techniques set forth by dub reggae's chief architects King Tubby, Scientist, among countless other legends. An artist who shines in the collaborative process, Borth's acclaimed debut Haven featured Coco (of Quadron), Aku (of Dragons Of Zynth), Teachers, and he has been a consistent cohort of South African MC Spoek Mathambo, partnering in composing, production, and touring as Mathambo's multi-instrumentalist secret weapon over the past few years. CHLLNGR has been working on his next full-length for the L.A.-based Time No Place label. Recorded at the newly-built Red Bull Studios in Copenhagen, Borth took a different approach by recording most of the new record at a legitimate studio as opposed to his previous DIY methods. Again, a collaborative effort: the new album features contributions from up-and-coming vocalist JOSIAHWISE IS THE SERPENTWITHFEET, Grace Hall of Skin Town, Doctor Echo, Dusty Brown, Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (When Saints Go Machine, Cancer) and the UK-based artist, Dels. Keeping much of CHLLNGR's signature moody starkness, his LP strives for brave eclecticism, digging deeper into his future-minded soul music explorations.