KING MIDAS SOUND: Without You (Hyperdub Records)


Posted on Oct 24th 2011 01:16 am

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (1)

King Midas Sound: Without You

Without You
Hyperdub Records 2011
15 Tracks. 63mins24secs

 Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD

Of Kevin Martin’s many projects, King Midas Sound, his collaboration with vocalists Roger Robinson and Kiki Hitomi, is probably both the most haunting and compelling. 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 provided a deeply unsettling soundtrack for Robinson’s soulful lyrics and highly recognisable falsetto and Hitomi’s bitter-sweet vocals, and it is Martin once again who is in charge of the sonic aspect of Without You, but in a very different capacity as he brings together a vast array of musicians, from Flying Lotus, Deep Chord or Kuedo to Kode9 & The Spaceape, Gang Gang Dance or Rob Lowe and invites them to re-imagine Waiting For You from the ground up.

Most of the artists involved seem to have opted for retaining the acutely disturbing moods of the original album, but it is pretty much where the similarities end. Each reinterpretation is a personal statement from Martin’s contributors as they stamp their mark on these compositions. Some keep the original versions in mind, but approach them from a different angle, as is the case with Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside, who adds new vocals to I Man and turns it into an entirely different piece with Come And Behold, or with Mala’s considerably stripped down reworking of Earth A Kill Ya, which expands on the dub form of the original.

Elsewhere, the reworkings are more radical. Kuedo’s version of Goodbye Girl or Flying Lotus’s reading of Lost are quite claustrophobic, drenched as they are in sombre electronic textures, and later on, Rob Lowe’s own take on Goodbye Girl, served by a bleak atmospheric drone upon which are hung occasional beats and bleeps, is particularly chilling in its sparsity. Hype Williams deals with similar moods on Sumtime, but his input is meatier and appears, in comparison, full-bodied.

At the other end of the scale, remixes by Gang Gang Dance, Cooly G or Deep Chord are anything but minimal. Gang Gang Dance give Earth A Kill Ya a bit of an anthemic feel, if anthems where made of twisted effects and electronics and concussed grooves. Cooly G’s revoicing of Lost, as Spin Me Round, is equally warm and uplifting, while the beautifully rounded dubbey techno proposed by Deep Chord/Echospace on Goodbye Girl is deliciously dreamy and haunting in equal proportions. Kiki Hitomi takes Cool Out, strip it of Roger Robinson’s vocals and appropriates it for herself on the excellent Tears, and later on, Nite Jewel offer an interesting reading of Lost, flooding it with synths washes, while Meltdown becomes a heavy dubstep piece in the hands of Kode9 & The Spaceape.

While some of these remixes have previously been available on EPs, the vast majority of those featured here are exclusive to Without You. Despite the vast scope of moods and the varied vision of what King Midas Sound could sound like deployed here, this album feels extremely consistent sonically, and is a testament to Kevin Martin’s musicianship and vision.


King Midas Sound | Hyperdub
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (1)

One Response to “KING MIDAS SOUND: Without You (Hyperdub Records)”

  1. THE 2011 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 22 Dec 2011 at 1:05 pm

    […] MIDAS SOUND Without You […]