KITCHEN, the chosen moniker of Jack Rudden, released his second EP at the end of October. ‘apocroniCis’ is named after the very specific, but not unfamiliar, feeling of the oncoming apocalypse often felt following the use of illicit substances.

Having released his first 4-track EP last year, KITCHEN classifies his music as “lo-fi recordings to panic to”. This latest EP is something of a universe in miniature and a self-proclaimed time-travel story starring Meryl Streep and a fish. The specificity is surprisingly not limiting.

KITCHEN sounds undeniably modern, melding 80s synth with electronic modulation and vocal filters. Once on the outskirts, the PC Music and hyperpop influence of the past few years have leaked into the alt scene. Whilst KITCHEN is not replicating Charli XCX’s or 100 Gecs, ‘apocroniCis’ is not a dissimilar beast.

Even compared to his 2019 debut ‘Eugene Dreams’ the sound has grown from the lo-fi guitar and equalised audio into something more electronic. The five tracks on ‘apocroniCis’ tell a spacey Alice in Wonderland-esque tale. Shittysugar opens with a monotonous pulsing synth which bizarrely, and perhaps unintentionally, pays homage to the soundtrack of 2014 indie film ‘Frank’. This is the shortest track on the EP and it quickly gives way to Streepin which is, naturally, where the Meryl Streep reference comes in.

KITCHEN’s sound here is like that of a 1980s arcade game; bright and cheery on top with a sinister undercurrent which feels like being chased. Thefishreturns leans heavily on vocal filters with the use of modulation and looping – slowing the pace in time for the title track.

Title track apocroniCis is the closest thing to sincerity on the EP and perhaps the only track where the lyrics can be heard clearly. KITCHEN, in all his ambiguity, reveals himself and the EP’s thematic exploration of identity and time here by singing “anything that could exist / running out of time”, “identify me now / hair and teeth and flesh between the dirt”. In both imagery and with the use of a twinkly synth, it sounds a little like a Rocky Horror reprise. It is a little unnerving then that this sweetly lulling track does not end the EP.

Wakingtremors truly pulls the listener back into a new plane of reality. With heavier bass and frequency shrieks, the onset of the first mentioned apocalypse is evidently closer than ever. The succinct cut to silence after 3 minutes is a little like a lost radio transmission. It leaves the listener reeling and, more than likely, going back for more.

KITCHEN’s ‘apocroniCis’ is a piece that showcases various styles of production, oscillating from chill lo-fi to heavier nu-pop. Where so much lockdown music is about just that, KITCHEN’s extent of metaphor and character in a mere five tracks is not only impressive but an enjoyable, if a little odd, listen.