Kingbastard :: XY34R5 “A Decade of Bastardism!” (Odd John)

Clearly in the last ten years Kingbastard has covered a great deal of sonic territory and this collection is an excellent way to dip ones toes into his ocean of sounds before diving headlong into his work.

KINGBASTARD :: XY34R5 "A Decade of Bastardism!" (Odd John)

I’m late to the Kingbastard game. His album Data which came out earlier this year was a hard driven dark masterpiece of glitchy minimal techno. I thought that was this particular bastard’s bag. Fortunately out comes XY34R5 “A Decade of Bastardism!”, a chronological compilation of 28 Kingbastard tracks, one from each release, to set me straight.

Kingbastard (aka Chris Weeks) seems to have begun with some solid IDM styled work with “Sadmachine.” It’s reminiscent of Solvent, Arovane, Ulrich Schnauss and others of that ilk. Songs like “Bastard In A Box,” “The October Lighthouse,” and “Fishboatnco” tread across somewhat familiar territory and instrumentation. Kingbastard seems content to take the piss just about all the time which can be a nice antidote to the rather sanctimonious approach of most electronic music. “Cyclic³” is a sweet piece of ambience like Jega or even Aphex Twin.

Then there’s the tracks where Kingbastard’s voice emerges as a singer and it’s quite pleasant. “Say When” begins as a glitchy, droning piece then morphs into a goofy sing-along with a complete chorus of Kingbastard’s. “O M G” features a rapper with a strong British accent pitting lyric over sold Kingbastard beats and noises. “I D K” is almost a rock song with a four on the floor beat and acoustic guitars but is overall dominated by hoover-ish sounds and noises while eventually dissolving into a glorious digital mess. “Multicolour Octopus Ink Nightmares” could almost be an outtake from Sgt. Pepper’s or Led Zeppelin IV with its atmospherics, spacy choruses and delicate acoustic guitars if not for the heavy synthesized elements. “Arafu” is a beautiful ballad complete with pains and more acoustic guitars where Kingbastard displays his sensitive side (if only to warn us of too many cows up ahead). A similar melancholy permeates the slowed down beat of “Rocking Chair.”

Clearly in the last ten years Kingbastard has covered a great deal of sonic territory and this collection is an excellent way to dip ones toes into his ocean of sounds before diving headlong into his work.

XY34R5 “A Decade of Bastardism!” is available on Odd John.

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