Southerly Champion of the Noisy Negativists

Krist Krueger, hidden behind his Southerly nametag, uses this five-song EP for sparse instrumental works that are equally unsettling and inspiring. Entering with a bass-driven piano line, "Trials" begins the disc with an ominous haze, as if walking through the Dark Black Forest with Westley in The Princess Bride; it's creepy, yes, but not Hitchcock creepy. "Ascend" goes sci-fi with a light, buzzing background and soft keys that float in the air; it's easily the standout track. As with many EPs, it's difficult to become immersed in the record, but Champion of the Noisy Negatives is interesting enough that more is wanted to fully experience Krueger's spacey compositions. (Self Group)