Treasure from the black avant-garde.
by Dave Skipper
My default position on this blog is not to review other artists’ works. Why is this? For a number of reasons:
- I have too much other stuff I want to write about
- Music/album reviews are terribly subjective for the most part, and can get in the way of simply listening to the music on its own terms
- Due to the content and approach of much of my writing on this blog being highly theological/Christian/religious, I hesitate in case other artists don’t want to be associated with my views
- Conversely, I hesitate to be associated with the beliefs, imagery, or lifestyles of artists/art out there where these may contravene my faith or personal boundaries
As I have noted elsewhere on this blog, I will be starting up a couple of article series at some point which directly interface with other noise/experimental/avant-garde artists: Noise Interviews will simply let artists speak for themselves about their own views and perspectives on noise and the universe; in Noise Figures I will interact with and critique some key/influential writings and perspectives from the wider noise world.
So why the exception here? Again there a few reasons:
- I was asked to review this album (a rare request!)
- I thoroughly enjoyed the music and would love to recommend it to your ears
- The artist is himself a rare exception – a black artist working in avant-garde electronic music
Kinnara : Desi La has done great work highlighting and bringing together a number of black avant-garde artists in various compilation albums and associated projects (check especially the Afrovisionary releases here: https://kinnara-desila–afrovisionary-creations.bandcamp.com/). And now, after a number of eclectic solo releases, Architecture is here – a delightfully epic album.
This is not a ‘noise’ album, it’s wider than that. Noise influence is there, sure, but also present are elements of ambient, glitch, and sounds and traits from other diverse strains of electronic music. I don’t want to label it, and I don’t think it wants or needs to be labelled.
So, next up is my review, then the link to the album for you to check out for yourself!
Architecture is a sprawling musical suite that traverses both old and new electronic sound territories. But it’s much more than just a collection of tracks: it’s a living, breathing, pulsating organism. It is the film score to your most obscure dreams and farthest memories. It is a gateway to classified laboratory experiments and labyrinthine mysteries. It is the architecture of the bionic and the cyborg.
Neural sparks fuse with intelligent circuits, intricate fibres overlay evolving meta-structures. The foundations go deep, where the throbbing magma oozes, generating robotic cicadas, crystal fountains, fractal vines, and endless landscapes of ethereal electronics. The subtle playfulness of a symbiotic paradise melds with the post-industrial technocentric clamour of a disjointed metropolis. But the gentlest human touch is never far away, never lost, never out of sight.
Architecture presents a vision of the future that nods to the past and augments or even supplants the now. It is at once familiar and disturbing, soothing and intense. The end result is an effective simplicity that belies the sweat and grease poured into its execution.
Do not be put off by the dimensions of this epic record. Every track is allowed to fulfill its unhurried potential. It sucks you right in, and the carefully curated flow and overall coherence of the album make the hours disappear.
Do yourself a favour and carve out some time to absorb and be absorbed by the beauty of the machines. Curl up in your favourite armchair, don your best headphones, zone out and zoom in. This is technology serving the human condition. A perfect antidote to our lazy modern world’s nauseating obsession with soundbites, quick fixes, and trite cliches. Superb.
Here’s the link, please click through and enjoy (and buy if you want to support the artist directly for their sweat and tears)!
Maybe this post will set an occasional trend – send me something to review and if it’s out of the norm and I really like it I may just put it up here on my blog (for what it’s worth!)…