MICHAEL KAMEN & ORBITAL: Event Horizon (Movie Soundtrack) (CD on London Records).
Usually when you see Orbital's name on a soundtrack CD, it means a track from one of their own CDs is included, or maybe they did the title music as with "The Saint". But this time is very different...this time it's all new Orbital in a very different way.
The music for this SF film was written and performed by Kamen and Orbital. This time Orbital's electronic pep is fused with Kamen's orchestral sonicscape, resulting in 44 minutes of highly charged music that excellently captures the aura and tension of danger in outer space.
KILLING JOKE: Democracy (CD on Butterfly Records in USA).
Two albums and numerous EPs later, and the reformed original Killing Joke are still going passionately strong. As one can guess from the title, this album deals in an election year with politics--those clever Brits.
Thick guitar sheets thrashing in a wild wind over a dangerous percussion landscape by night, all aglisten with sneaky electronics and effects. Skulking among the sharp edged debris under this alien red dwarf star: Coleman's vocals growl and scurry with hoarse urgency.
Some very solid killer agro tuneage going on here. I'm especially fond of the angry guitar wall in the song "Aeon".
KILLING JOKE: Democracy (CD EP on Zoo Entertainment in USA).
Another killer EP from the returned masters of industrial rock. This one delivers 55 minutes of remixes of the title track from their latest album, including several agro mixes by Charlie Clouser and David Ogilvie, a techno mix by Hallucinogen, and an 18 minute trance extension by the Orb.
KILL SWITCH...RLICK: deGENERATE (CD on Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).
Set course for the heart of industrial rock...to find the sound veined with deposits of gothic and heavy metal and Dark Wave. Brooding music for the chronically dissatisfied: interplay of harsh and crooning vocals, thunder bass, strong percussion, savage sampling. There is a prominent illusion of guitar throughout the music--all achieved with bass or slambar (quite a masterful trick). All crammed into power grind songs of superior composition.
KINDER ATOM: Atomika (CD on Hypnotic Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).
Busy techno music, heavy on the buzz factor and peppy tuneage. Lots of synthesizers, danceable E-perc and effects galore cavort around a maypole of repetition, stretching the songs into impressive hypnotic dazes. The electronics are inventive: a curious collection of sounds employed in various tempos.
Dynamic surge electronics that create a really enjoyable techno listen for 66 minutes. Highly recommended.
KING CRIMSON: Thrakattak (CD on Discipline Records in USA).
King Crimson's Nineties comeback has been a pleasant surprise and a thoroughly enthralling growth for art rock. Despite Adrian Belew's often intrusive vocals, the power and intellect of the music has punched through, even gaining the band popularity with the grange scene (a most unlikely place for Fripp and company to find listeners).
"Thrakattack" is a live document of King Crimson's late 1995 tour and it is guaranteed to startle (and still delight) fans. But different is the keynote here: the lyrics are completely gone and the songs are welded together into a long industrial thrash festival that often borders on sheer noise. Rhythms are a constant presence, but they rarely coalesce into a melody, resulting instead in a tasty but baffling wall of sound.
Honestly, the only thing I can compare this to is... Remember the instrumental lead-in to King Crimson's classic tune "The Talking Drum"? Well, expand that and inject a severe sense of surge.
This album is thoroughly wonderful, but definitely walks a different sonic path than the last two releases.
KING CRIMSON: Vrooom (CD on Discipline Records in UK).
Well, it's been a long and rumor-littered wait, but there's finally a new King Crimson release. And y'know, it's no "Red", but it's not dead either. Some lively action by Fripp and the gang (this time it's Adrian Belew Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, and Bill Bruford). Hard edged rock with a glistening modern tinge. Sadly, at only 31 minutes, it ends far too soon.
KING LEAR'S CONVULSIONS: Self-Intoxication (60 minute cassette tape on Audiofile Tapes, 209-25 18 Avenue., Bayside, NY 11360, USA) (available for 8.50 post.paid).
Wonderfully dark electronics channeled in semi-melodic directions that drift yet seethe with a dangerous edge. A subdued growl that your stomach feels before your ears do. The electronics grind through an auralscape of pointy noises and distantly scraping strings and intense oscillations, giving this dark ambience a shimmer of expectancy. Some pieces add a percussive edge, lending the music a funeral frenzy.
RICHARD KIRK: Artifical Intelligence (CD on The Grey Area of Mute Records in UK).
Kirk is one-half of Cabaret Voltaire, the industrial trance faves of the late Seventies and early Eighties. This CD is very old material from the late 70s --intense, atonal and harsh.
BERND KISTENMACHER: Head-Visions (CD on Musique Intemporelle in Germany).
This is strong instrumental music made up of very grandiose sweeps of heavenly synthesizers and surging keyboard rhythms (much in the vein of Klaus Schulze). Although the structure is mostly a slowbuild of these sweeps and rhythms, the melodies are far from passive for the pace becomes quite frantic at times as the music creeps through epic layers to astral majesty. It's powerful stuff--an excellent dose of new age with a keen razor's bite.
"Head-Visions" is Kistenmacher's debut album from 1986. This CD reissue also features a 12 minute live bonus track, so you get over 64 minutes of his driving keyboard oriented synthesizer melodies.
KLANGE: The Heart/Hertz Files (CD on Hypnotic Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).
More heavy industrial electronics. Here, though, the electronics have a shinier edge to them, like liquid blades slicing through a spacey backdrop, spilling E-perc and harmonics like stardust. Apply these sounds to a very rhythmic structure and add spectral voices. Result: dynamite trance with a bite.
KLUSTER: Eruption (CD on Marginal Talent, Erlanger Street 7, 90765 Furth, Germany).
The brief bio: before Moebius and Roedelius recorded under the name Cluster, they did three LPs with Conrad Schnitzler, calling themselves Kluster. It was Schnitzler who guided the sound in an electronic direction.
Personally, I find "Eruption" to be the more interesting of the three Kluster releases; the music on "Klopfzeichen" and "Zwei-Osterei" (both on Hypnotic Records in the USA) was dominated by spoken voice tracks that just occluded the music. Another aspect that makes "Eruption" special is that it is a live recording from a 1971 performance.
As music goes, "Eruption" is rather unfocused: atonal and using controlled cacophony. Drones weaves with cello sawing and drum tapping, sometimes meshing towards a brief peak, but generally just floating along filling air. The second of the two pieces on this 56 minute CD possesses more life with some harsh electronics, plucked bass and guitar strangling, coalescing into a denser, moodier, and more enjoyable atonal journey.
Since this was originally released in 1971 as a private release LP, this CD reissue may be the first time many electrophiles have to hear this historic music.
(both on Hypnotic Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).
You've heard of Cluster, but perhaps you've never encountered it spelled with a "K".
In the early Seventies, Conrad Schnitzler convinced Moebius and Roedelius to do a project employing electronics in a free form improv-setting. These sessions were privately released in Germany in 1971 under the name Kluster (a name that would later become Cluster when Schnitzler left to pursue his solo career as the grandfather of German electronic music). For well over two decades, these records have been ultimate rarities, greedily sought after by collectors of serious E-music.
And now they've finally been reissued on CD--and in the USA! Each CD averages 60 minutes and each contains a 15 minute bonus live track by Cluster and Farnbauer (which are barely melodic electronics with softer percussives, previously available only on an ever rarer European cassette tape release). The sound of each disc is raw and seething with atonal power, comprised of screeching electronics, tortured cello and metallic noises. The first disc features female spoken voice throughout, while the second features a male spoken voice track. Both are in German and deal with religious philosophy (since these sessions were originally commissioned by a church).
Abrasive and haunting, the music of Kluster is of severe historical importance in the formation of the highly active German electronic scene of the Seventies (which many cite as the solid inspiration of today's techno and trance scenes). Wonderful to hear these LPs again after all these years.
KODE IV: Silicon Civilisation (CD on KK Records in USA)
Previously industrial agro, Kode IV deliver a moody techno turn with this album. Rhythmic but trance laden tracks roll luxuriously oh this disc. Through the clever use of sampled vocal snippets, the instrumental electronic music is given the theme of man creating computers who in turn evolve into the next dominant life form. The tone is not dark, but more detached and observatory.
Of decent merit by Kode IV are two CD EPs: "Faust" and "Dissolve" (both on KK Records). The latter features 25 minutes of remixes of a track from "Silicon Civilisation", while "Faust" sports 21 minutes of mixes of a seemingly non-LP track.
KOMAKINO: Energy Trancemission (CD on Hypnotic Records, 13428 Maxella Ave, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 USA).
This 60 minute CD is fast-paced techno, rhythmic and charged with vitality. The lively dance tunes utilize grind electronics--surging tones flailing with hordes of clacking, shushing, booming E-perc break beats and periodic female vocals.
KREL: Who's Next on This? (46 minute cassette tape on Audiofile Tapes, 209-25 18 Avenue., Bayside, NY 11360, USA).
Excellent simulation of Hawkwind, both in sound and instrumentation...often so exact that it borders on duplication, but it's still wholly enjoyable.
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