Quite the spanker. This brand new & remarkable burster of taste-buds album from Scottish stick-up duo Cummings & Glass Kovorox. Hopped-up on robotics, AI, automation, the increasing commercialization & privatization of the human sphere, digitization of brain-cells, technology theocracy, Big Data cartels etcetera, it’s a seven track polymorph of harsh noise emotives, tampered IDM-esque beats, artisan Electronics, malfunctioning Industrial off-cuts, FX & distortion infused vocals, peculiar samples under even peculiar modifications, demolishing chip-tune bone fracture & hazy/abstractive Ambient & trance reverie. Does it work? – Like a bolt to a beleaguered billboards bin-lining, this is a mesmerizing & exceptional clump of work that puts the listener on the hot-coals both sonically & intellectually. Unpredictable, widely variegated & straying dramatically between tactics, sound, sentiment & scenarios with expert attention to fine details. As a complete piece, the placement/mix also seems designed for the maximum retention of concentration – propelling the witness on a fluid succession of progressions without falling prey to monotony. As usual with this lot, the depth of craft on the acoustics/phonetics is argute, with a lot of detail & effort in the variance of actual sound profiles (so, something may sound like it’s been recorded from a distance, or with minimal obstruction or forms of muffling, giving it a totally alternative finish & individuality as if recorded on a different scale/device/angle/volume etc). as harsh, tatty, nuts & extreme as this is, clearly there is some seriously sophisticated thinking & action behind the scenes. Taken in isolation, there are three tracks within that really scream the hardest at me, – Against the Shining Progress of Technology and Commerce, a jangled downish-tempo distorted dance-beat driven prowler that slowly slides to uncomfortable Dark Ambient slathering & estranged trance overlay. The incredible “Radiant City” is a tab of pure blissful surrealism, all air-conditioned utopic blue-sky & pretty chicks in virgin-snow pencil skirts with non-alcoholic super-food cocktails grinning ear-to-ear through perfect white teeth. Amazing & evocative material that makes the mind hyper-wonder. Lastly comes the minacious bombshell – He Advances Near The Mysterious Gleam Which Lights Up The Place Where Nothing Human Has Ever Been Found, a slow, clogged current of nasty rhythmic Death Industrial menacing complete with amazing skittering electronic background surges & misshapen cross-faded noise/samples. It’s nothing short of spectacular & uses a child’s scream to incredible effect. Ultra atmospheric, & to my mind & heeding the context given – a glimpse at the immense dangers/evil lurking behind the facade of technological convenience.
The packaging & design are another direct knee in the nads. Kovorox are often doing very novel, non-regular & constantly changing shit for their releases, with great colour coordination & atypical hand-rendered customizations & non-machine assembly with a penchant for paint, stenciling & DIY ingenuity. You end-up with something completely unique, personalized & snazzy as.
Definitely one of the highlights of 2017 & matter of the moment.
Label – Kovoroxsound