Kein & Wolke :: Double review (Audiobulb/Abandon Building)

Kein’s In Bloom ranges from glitch to jungle, from IDM to confident ambient landscapes whereas Wolke’s All The Pictures Will Be Gone is a tender and melancholic take on glitchy landscapes.

Kein :: In Bloom (Audiobulb)—Kein’s In Bloom is comprised of seven new tracks, one which previously appeared on a compilation, that extend their reach comfortably from glitch to jungle, from IDM to confident ambient landscapes. The album follows a pretty consistent order.

As we are introduced to the soft sounds of “Untitled” rather gently, the album begins to unfold in a confident fashion. “Look After Me” is a powerful bit of nostalgia that wouldn’t be out of place in a science fiction score. However, this is all a tad cliché. After all, what kind of electronic music doesn’t at the very least resemble some sort of movie score? It is a quality of the genre to be forward thinking, to imagine sounds for a world that does not yet exist. Where Kein excels, on the other hand, is showing you tiny snapshots of what a possible world would look like. Always teary eyed, the sounds of In Bloom remind ever so briefly to Saycet’s wonderful One Day At Home (Electron’y’pop, 2006). It is a decidedly ambient sound that haunts most of the songs composed by Kein, somehow straddling the line between derivative and defiantly original.

The two tracks that came to mind immediately after typing “defiantly original” were album highlight “Brixton Rd” and closing track “Isländische.” “Brixton Rd” is different from the other tracks in that it develops a kind of Zomby-ish sound that wouldn’t be out of place in the masked man’s tunes that constituted With Love. “Brixton Rd” is a banger.

Album closer “Isländische” is flat-out fantastic, as the listener is bombarded by what appears to be a rogue fax machine shooting lasers out of its output slot. Both “Brixton Rd” an “Isländische,” however, are departures for what appears to be a decidedly ambient oriented album. This makes the album overall both a disappointment and and exciting discovery at the same time. No small feat.

Wolke :: All The Pictures Will Be Gone (Abandon Building)—Speaking of Saycet, here’s a project that might inspire some more direct comparisons. Wolke is Fabrizio Cacciamali’s moniker for what is a tender and melancholic take on glitchy landscapes. All The Pictures Will Be Gone, dedicated to Cacciamali’s mother, is mournful yet delightful bit of music coming from Italy.

For an album intentionally left unmastered to “preserve the organic feel,” All The Pictures Will Be Gone is anything but sophomoric. Even though a couple of tracks may benefit from a bit of cutting, most of the songs provide a warm ambiance that positions Cacciamali’s as a very competent composer of glitchy tracks. Songs are often accompanied by live percussion and pops and glitches that come naturally out of every song. This, however, affects the replayability of the album quite a bit. Other than the album’s title track—where glitches take precedence over “organic” melodies”—the album tends to rest on its laurels. Variations of the same theme is a technique Cacciamali relies all too often. It doesn’t help that the average track length is three minutes and the album is comprised of fifteen songs that rely on the same structure.

Even though the welcoming sounds of Wolke are not entirely original, they are well crafted and hit that melancholic sweet spot often forgotten by glitch enthusiasts. Feeling is important, fifteen tracks of it, however, is a bit much.

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