Kobi - "Acousticks"
(EndofhuM-04 2008)

From Aural Innovations July 2009 update

Shades of the "Berlin-School" Krauts. Or the original Dark-Ambient/Industrial of the '80s... Electro-Acoustics, Incidental Ambient, Surrealistic Nightmarescapes, etc, etc. Minimal in conventional rhythm, but often maximal in sound, this outfit is out of Norway, the main antagonist being Kai Mikalsen. Creepy cavernous atmospheres run through this, rain and other field recordings haunt the proceedings, at times various musicians "solo" over all the drones and layerings of noises. The promo sheet suggested an airy, organic, "open" sound here and I'd say that that's what makes this at times such a compelling listen. "It Doesn't Rule Out the Possibility Completely"... a rumbling menacing electronic waahh-loop rolls through the piece. All kinds of random buzzings and effects segue... "However, These Measurements are Applied By Our Minds"... the bells, the bells!!! And the wind... and what is this now? A Fog Horn? Asian horn? Other wind instruments squeak and squeal. It gets a tad too unmusical here. Or perhaps more accurately: less fitting... "Before They Were Just Ovals They Didn't Stick Out". The thundering Tympani! Straight out of a horror/suspense film where the adventurers are reticently entering the unknown of the dark cave: the maw of hell moans low, intones, breaths deep, cymbals washed. "It Might Just Disappear & Reappear At Times"... a bunch of clanging shit being dragged around on the dungeon floor, subhuman slaves toiling in meaningless tasks All the creepier for there being no actual voice. "Some Are Once In A Lifetime Sights"... The buzzing muffled belches and drones processed to randomly undulate through the rational sound barriers and pierce the mind of reason... nightmare chaos, incarnate in sound. "Exactly On Time, Moved Completely Into the Shadow"... Do I hear a guitar or a bass plucking underneath the rushing shuffling backwards stutter-steps of the Red-Suited Dwarf in the Black Lodge? The mind is mush, and it is morning. Must I now go face the frustratingly banal and literal rationality of the regular workday?

For more information you can visit the Kobi web site at: http://www.looop.no/kobi
Email at: kai@looop.no

Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg

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