KING MIDAS SOUND: Waiting For You (Hyperdub Records)


Posted on Nov 3rd 2009 02:21 am

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King Midas Sound: Waiting For You

Waiting For You
Hyperdub Records 2009
13 Tracks. 47mins02secs

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The newest alter ego of Kevin Martin, best known as The Bug, King Midas Sound, a collaboration with vocalist Roger Robinson, investigates a hazy, greasy dubstep which, while sharing a clear taste for gritty dub and rounded bass lines with The Bug, is in essence miles apart from its incendiary missiles. The pair have been working together for some time, with Robinson contributing to a number of Bug tracks over the years, but they are brought together by a very different motive here. Working on the close relationship between Martin’s deeply hypnotic atmospheric textures and Robinson’s smooth falsetto and measured delivery, King Midas Sound is a pretty tight and dense association, with a heavy narcotic-fuelled slant and sombre hues.

Following two EPs released in the last year, King Midas Sound’s long awaited debut album lands on Hyperbub just in time for the label’s fifth anniversary celebrations. On Waiting For You, Martin carves some pretty minimal soundscapes, shaken by deep reverberating bass lines, which, right from opening track Cool Out, provides a stark counterpoint to Robinson’s breathy vocals, not strictly speaking sung yet not exactly spoken either, floating in and out of the mix as if suspended in mid-air. With each new track, the claustrophobic aspect of the record is reinforced by Martin’s haunting sound structures, often resting on devastating bass lines and occasional ethereal elements crystallized around slow moving beats.

At times, Robinson’s voice is left pretty untouched, yet at others, it is dipped in strangely metallic reverbs (One Thing, Meltdown, I Man, Miles & Miles) or processed into the texture of the track (Dahlin), while, it is the deep tone of his ordinary spoken voice which is pressed onto Earth A Kill Ya or Sometimes. Adding to the chill is Dokkebi Q’s Kiki Hitomi, who blows an especially cold spell on Earth A Kill Ya and Goodbye Girl, and adds an almost angelic touch to Outer Space. Once again the voice is more than an element simply sitting on top of the soundtrack. As with that of Robinson, Martin integrates Hitomi’s voice into the fabric of his tracks to create an uncomfortably homogenous and fluid whole, where the human input, while in no way anecdotal, appears strangely amalgamated into the sonic process. Yet, despite this, there are undeniable streams of warmth radiating through the whole record, as repeat listens progressively reveal more of the hidden depth of Martin’s stunning soundscapes.

The two early King Midas Sound EPs gave some idea of pair’s universe, yet, developed on a much fuller scale here, it hits repeatedly hard throughout. Right from the opening moment of Cool Out to the dying shards of Miles & Miles, Kevin Martin creates an incredibly haunting and hypnotic soundtrack upon which Roger Robinson hangs expressive vocal parts. The result is an oddly emotional nocturnal record, with enough poignancy to give label mate Burial a run for his money. Expect to find this gem his on many end-of-year lists.


Icon: arrow King Midas Sound (MySpace) | Hyperdub Records
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2 Responses to “KING MIDAS SOUND: Waiting For You (Hyperdub Records)”

  1. THE 2009 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 13 Dec 2009 at 7:52 pm

    […] MIDAS SOUND Waiting For You […]

  2. […] Following a couple of EPs released in 2008 and 2009, the trio’s excellent debut album, Waiting For You, was published at the end of that same year. Martin’s shady soundscapes and dense dub grooves […]