Kanoi is the one man band of Austrian musician Benjamin Kantschieder. From The City To The Stars is my introduction to his music but there are over a dozen releases available at his Bandcamp site, all recorded since he started the project in 2011.
There’s quite a variety of music on the album and showcasing the diversity of styles that Kanoi is about is Kantschieder’s intention with this 6 track collection. The title track opens the set and is a blend of classic early Black Sabbath Stoner riffage and 70s Hard Rock with a chunky rocking Psychedelic edge. I like the raw and ballsy yet trippy feel. And we’re treated to a very tasty sludgy Hendrix meets Dave Gilmour guitar solo. Cracks is next and is far more gentle and trippy. I like the combination of acoustic guitar and often spacey Bluesy electric guitar, which provide the melodic Psychedelic backdrop for Kantschieder’s dreamy vocals. Witch Mt. closes the A side and is a very cool dirty Blues-Psych rock ‘n roller with nicely spaced out guitar and screamin’ licks. Obstacles starts off as an acoustic guitar driven song with a powerful Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here vibe. But Kantschieder goes into far more interesting territory as he adds effects, ultimately making this a quite beautiful and dreamy Psych song, and includes a scrumptious Blues-Psych solo. Floyd-ish… but more. The Heather Blazing returns to dirty Bluesy stoned Psych-Rock mode. Despite the rawness of the music, Kantschieder manages to retain a dreamy feel, perhaps due to the vocals and the way the stoned vibe both chugs and flows. I like the contrast. And we’ve got more tastily ripping guitar solos. Finally, except for the acid drenched finale, Suspicions Aside is pure Space-Blues, but also powerfully recalls Porcupine Tree circa Sky Moves Sideways. Overall a nice variety of raw Psych rock and dreamier songs. I’ll have to explore more from Kanoi.
Vinyl junkies should note that the LP comes in a numbered edition of 500 – 200 black, 200 red-black marbled, and 100 die hard edition housed in a cotton tote bag. Each comes with a download code.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz