A Cave In The Inside is the fifth album of Present Paradox – Dortmund-based songwriter and producer David Kleinekottmann. Beginning with the song Nightwalk, the music lays out a fairly specific mood with its ambiance, and the artist’s leading voice and lyricism alongside of this fit perfectly into that setting. The simplicity of a smooth piano part, later accompanied by a few touches of strings and synths, make for a beautiful backdrop upon which the delicate, almost whispered vocals can deliver the remaining sentiment and story-line of the song.
Present Paradox’ approach to creativity and music seems firstly to express certain inner, deeply human thoughts and feelings, and secondly to surround and securely comfort his audience in a way that makes for the perfect source of escapism that all the while allows you to wander off into your own mind for a while – softly guided by these soundscapes.
Magical Twist raises the energy a little, the eclecticism of the instrumentation on this project begins to come through more and more – a slightly indie-rock edge appears, the chord progression remains fresh, and the now familiar sound of this gorgeously genuine and somewhat vulnerable leading voice provides the perfect driving force for the song.
Masquerade takes the character and swagger of indie-rock a littler further. The riffs and the beat have the edge here, a notably distant, reverb soaked vocal hook creates a strangely atmospheric contrast. There’s something haunting about this track but it’s also addictively hypnotic in the way it’s been crafted and laid out. The structure is simple – the song moves back and forth between two main sections, but the frequency of this movement feels quite quick and this captivates you as it happens. The lyrics here really take you somewhere considerate and unexpected. The melody really hangs on after listening.
The atmospheric abilities of the artist arrive in full force for the song Good Wind, the soundscape appears and evolves gradually – the intensity and passion slowly rising all around you, with these occasionally snippets of voice, an openly human touch, just lightly reminding you of the concept and redirecting your thought process.
The EP’s title track is perhaps the most characterful of the whole project. The opening riff comes soaked in a certain ambiance not dissimilar to the likes of The XX. The artist’s voice here presents a similarly gentle performance style. This is of course the moment at which the album’s intention or underlying concept becomes a little clearer. The search for the safe place starts to take shape, the song is soothing to listen to, perfectly in keeping with the overall vibe of the collection, provoking those final moments of thought that bring the various ideas of the writing together.
Black Coats is the final track. A delicate joyfulness briefly appears by means of certain notes within the leading riff and the vocal melody. This contrasts effectively with the somewhat more melancholy notes that precede and follow – it’s an unusual experience, it feels like the sort of track that could either be uplifting or sad, depending on your own mood or your own mindset as you approach it. This is where music comes into ist own – that ability to be many things at once, to be the go-to record for audiences who do simply want to escape. That escapism may be into thoughts of the past, pondering of the future, or simply some other world of ideas created by a skillful and professional artist. It works well under each of these lights.
The project has a distinct thread throughout that keeps things familiar, though every song brings something unpredictable and quite special to the stage. It’s an interesting collection that really presents a distinct stamp of identity with every moment.