KANE IKIN & DAVID WENNGREN: Strangers (Kesh Recordings)


Posted on Mar 15th 2012 01:36 am

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Kane Ikin & David Wenngren: Strangers

Kesh Recordings 2012
06 Tracks. 46mins02secs

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

Strangers is the debut release from Australian sound artist Kane Ikin, best known as one half of Solo Andata (12K, Hefty, Desire Path) and Swedish-born David Wenngren, who has a few projects under his belt, of which Library Tapes (Resonant, Sonic Pieces, Kning Disk) is the most prominent. Having never physically met, the pair opted for a deliberately free and organic approach by never actually discussing plans for the music or establishing any rule.

Articulated around six atmospheric pieces, all between five-and-a-half and a shade over nine minutes long, Strangers is a wonderfully evocative soundtrack, filled with slow, evolutive drone forms built from warm soundscapes. The pace is kept voluntarily extremely slow throughout, but, far from hindering its development, it is intrinsic to the progressive nature of the music and impacts directly on its overall aspect. Whilst it is difficult to successfully detail exactly what these are actually made of, it appears that the pair work from a pool of electric guitars, pianos and occasional strings, which are all heavily processed and assembled into a series of dense, multi-layered pieces. This is a treatment which is applied equally through the entire record, and whilst it is altered to fit the different pieces collected here, it ensures extreme sonic consistency from one end of the record to the other.

The feverish glow which defines opening piece Swell is the result of a meticulous layering of saturated guitar textures and feedback which are polished to only retain a hint of the original corrosive nature of the sound sources. This is also partly the case later on Drifter, but, whilst the former goes through various stages over its course, the progression is here more linear and constant throughout. With Call and Veil, the pair opt for more pastoral settings as they focus on much softer an gentler soundscapes, but, if the former appears relatively eventless, the latter changes aspect continuously, growing from slow pulses into a dense celestial choir, then revealing delicate sub-structures, expands again, this time into an earthy ethereal section before its many layers are progressively stripped away.

The album closes on a particular epic note with the stunning Strings + Interlude. Here more than anywhere else on this record, the pair proceed with extreme care, slowly building up a strong narrative as they continuously adjust the density of their soundscapes. It feels as if they relentlessly lined up various sequences, each with their individual identity, but the ensemble is extremely cohesive all the way through, even with the focus shifts onto a discreet loop over which echoes a solitary piano, its sound in turn muted or wrapped in reverbs to give it a ghostly feel, wrapping up this rather impressive record with their most convincing composition.


Kane Ikin | David Wenngren (MySpace) | Kesh Recordings
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

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