For his third EP, Small Energy Expenditure, Brooklyn electronic artist Klienfeld offers an intriguingly darker approach to his music. While he already possesses a respectable amount of experience with past projects, Klienfeld decided to take a different route when working on this specific EP. When asked about the inspiration behind this project, Klienfeld said that the biggest source of artistic creativity came from the Stanley Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange. With such an interesting approach, it’s easy to see why a project such as this would seem so enticing to those who were already familiar with Klienfeld’s previous work.
The EP’s opener, the title track, starts off with a very primal, yet somewhat industrial sound. It’s dark and brooding but also catchy and fairly accessible as well. The repetitive nature does a good job of putting the listener into an uneasy state and giving them a good idea of what to expect from the rest of this project. The track is actually slightly reminiscent of late 1990’s The Prodigy, which is of course a compliment when referring to the style that Klienfeld was most likely aiming for.
The second track, “Nina Trips”, continues the dark tone while still remaining relatively simple and easy to nod along to. It’s here that the EP truly begins to sink into its Kubrick-esque tones and it does an even greater job of offering an uneasy vibe and arguably twisted perception. The track carries on the suspense and uncertainty that its predecessor began and expands on the themes that were first presented, whatever they may be to each individual listener. This tone, however, doesn’t necessarily keep up as the next track, “Lashings of Old”, begins. While this track isn’t quite as somber or foreboding as the previous two, it still offers a nice change of pace and proves that the EP can be rather unpredictable. The energy and enthusiasm are still present and while it’s rather different, the track doesn’t feel too out of place.
Even though the pace slowed down ever so slightly towards the midway portion of the project, it’s picked right back up again with the fourth track, “Fingertip”. With a pulsing beat and the biggest burst of energy thus far, this track provides the best source for what Klienfeld was trying to create from his A Clockwork Orange inspirations. With an atmosphere that carries a hint of dread, this is a true standout track that captures the overall tone that the EP has been putting forth. Although, while this track was quite thrilling, the pace noticeably slows down once the closing song, “655321,” begins. While this track still possesses a good atmosphere and holds its own in keeping up with the feel of the rest of the EP, it’s the only song here that genuinely feels its length and is rather anticlimactic compared the all four previous tracks. It’s not a poorly constructed track, though a more coherent piece might have been preferred to end the project with. Nonetheless, Klienfeld still does a nice job of carrying his style all throughout his EP.
While this EP isn’t overly flashy, it’s still a refreshing display of darker electronic music that revolves around a very interesting concept. With Small Energy Expenditure, Klienfeld has offered an interesting, thought-provoking project that should do it’s job of gaining some deserved attention and providing a truly unique listening experience.