BK Pepper: Territories review – Distinctiveness that is impossible to overlook
Dublin producer BK Pepper may be a relatively new name to some, but as a composer and classically trained musician he has been busy for years working on projects for (mostly) film soundtracks, orchestras, theatre and advertisements.
Territories, Pepper’s debut album, has been a long time coming for admirers of instrumental music that is tailor-made for anxious moments. Its prevalent theme is borders and how, Pepper observes, they have increased in visibility in recent years, “with migration, trade disputes and now a global pandemic reshaping how territories are perceived, defined and enforced around the world”.
Pepper’s output adheres to a template of strings, piano and electronics. It is handsomely suffused with shades of Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Max Richter and Conor Walsh, but its distinctiveness and dynamism is impossible to overlook. Tracks such as Island, Colours, Cortisol, Need to Know, and Nations may flow with grace, but prickly, singular edges are never too far away.