wed 10/08/2022

CD: King Midas Sound & Fennesz - Edition 1 | reviews, news & interviews

CD: King Midas Sound & Fennesz - Edition 1

CD: King Midas Sound & Fennesz - Edition 1

Kevin Martin’s collective serve up some fine ambient soundscapes and mellow dub

Edition 1: Steve Reich meets King Tubby

Kevin Martin is a busy man. Last year, there was The Bug’s floor-shaking Angels and Devils album and “Boa”/”Cold” collaboration with Dylan Carlson of drone titans Earth. In 2015, after a spectacular headline performance at the Supersonic Festival, he’s back with the King Midas Sound collective and more collaboration: with Austrian ambient wizard Fennesz.

King Midas Sound’s 2009 debut album, Waiting For You was a laidback digi-dub masterpiece that often suggested the spirit of Tricky’s finest moments, with it’s mash-up of electronic reggae sounds and creeping industrial textures, underlying the contrasting vocals of Roger Robinson and Kiki Hitomi. The trio’s follow-up delves deeper into a fog of ambient soundscapes and mellow, dubby songs that have as much in common with Steve Reich’s minimalist “Come Out” as they have with dub reggae landmark, King Tubby's Meets Rockers Uptown.

The influence of Fennesz on Edition 1, is also marked and with “Above Water” he is given free rein on an ambient instrumental which suggests Mogwai at their most mellow and cinematic. “Lighthouse” on the other hand, has much in common with the dubby sound of Waiting For You. The remaining tunes on Edition 1 are an amalgam of these two sounds and prove a laidback treat for when chilling out is the only reasonable option. Kiki Hitomi's brittle vocals for “On My Mind” and especially “We Walk Together” are a thing of considerable beauty. While Roger Robinson’s soulful singing on “Loving Or Leaving” and mumbled rumination on “Melt” provide a fitting counterpoint accompanied by a wash of gently throbbing electronics and woozy soundscapes that invite total relaxation.

From atonal industrial punk sounds to experimental dubby grooves, Kevin Martin has shown himself to be something of a sonic explorer. Edition 1 suggests that his explorations are far from over and that he’ll be mining a rich seam for some time to come.

Kiki Hitomi's brittle vocals for “On My Mind” and especially “We Walk Together” are a thing of considerable beauty

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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