Karenreq (b. Craig Myers; 1989, Little Frisco, Noble City) is a chillwave producer from Lovia. He is signed to Warped Records. Karenreq is involved with the witch house, chillwave and indietronica scene. His ambient, soundscape-ridden recordings are filled with hazy vocals and noisy overdubs. He lives in Newhaven together with his girlfriend.
Karenreq gained a lot of recognition with his track "A Beautiful Salvation" in 2009, and was promptly offered a record deal at Warped Records in 2009. He released three albums with the label. He toured twice in 2010 and got a lot of radio airplay that same year. The following year, he broke through in the American alternative music scene with "Paper Hearts", a layered sample track characterized by distant rhythms and occasional sitar melodies.
Karenreq collaborated with Lorelei on his 2011 single "Don't Think Twice". He also collaborated with 3Lan006 and Rain King on a special promo track, released in 2013 as "Mighty Piramids". Karenreq has also remixed a lot of tracks by other Warped Records artists, such as Hyperkids Melody ("Noise Deconstruction") and Hellnation ("Telephone Sex")
Karenreq's music is praised for its innovative sampling, ingenious rhythms and mellow vibe. The vocals are submerged by a layer of noisy feedback, and serve an aesthetic -rather than an intellectual- purpose. He contracted artists like Lorelei, Nicky Jones and Tapedeck Destroyer to sing the vocals for tracks like "Submarine Sex", "Intermezzo For Kings" and "The Noise In My Head".
Musical style Edit
Karenreq draws inspiration from Grimes, Purity Ring, CHVRCHES, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Holy Other, Small Black, Beach House, Blood Diamonds and Crystal Castles.
Karenreq uses a MIDI keyboard, a laptop, various synthesizers, sequencers/samplers and mixers, and an array of instruments to produce his music. He prefers to use "layered vocals" (that is, overdubbing multiple tracks of vocals on each other), sound distortion and circuit-bending (on his more experimental tracks, like "Devolutio 4", "Noisegazing" and "I Am The Galaxy")
He prefers to start the creative process towards songwriting while inebriated and under the influence of drugs. He has stated in interviews that drugs like LSD and Cannabis allow him to break free from the constraints of "Pitchfork Indie Pop". He likes to explore the more hedonistic themes of the mind, and doesn't care for thoughtful or political music. Karenreq has no intention to deliver his musical message through lyrics, and has chosen for a more instrumental approach, where the lyrics serve an aesthetical role. By using feedback and filters in such a manner that the lyrics become indistinguishable from the actual music, he aims to integrate lyrical content into the musical background. He provides no lyrics in the liner notes of his albums, and most of the vocals are not recognizable.
Karenreq tries to refrain from derivative work. He has adopted the aesthetics of the chillwave genre, however: his cover art is reminiscent of the recent tumblr crop of bands, and he uses a mask when giving concerts.
Karenreq released Milo Vanilo (a wordplay on German pop group Milli Vanilli) in 2008 on his bandcamp page. The tracks "Tarantula", "Blister" and "A Beautiful Salvation" attracted a lot of attention by the blogosphere, and were picked up by music blogs like Tiny Mix Tapes and Sputnikmusic.
Studio albums Edit
EPs and other releases Edit
- Matthias Mauncha (EP, 2007)
- Milo Chocolato (remix album, 2008)
- X Is for Triangle (Three R's) (collaboration with Dave and the Recorders, 2010)
- Black Papercuts (EP, 2010)
- blackndnoise (live-album, 2010)