KSDS – Out of the Void

ksds

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

I never knew they had it in them, the ability to make such an approachable release. ‘Out of the Void’ could not have been more aptly named as it’s predecessor, ‘Black Abba’, was quite a demanding record to play. I say that with both reverence and fear, it was not undertaken lightly and if you own it I’ll just leave it at that. This latest output is downright cuddly by comparison even if it does make people around me get up and leave the room no matter how much I turn down the volume; KSDS just will not conform to the whims of the majority and that’s about the best description I can give. Don’t be distraught by this, people, revel in it. Plunge into their unbridled experiments with your eyes wide open, you won’t regret it.

Trust me.

Now, while many other artists out there dabble with juxtaposing accessibility against their own personal demons, KSDS take the view that it is best to just leave competing elements to their own devices and not try to force cohesion where there is none. It is when their continual rancor infringes upon the others territory that you wind up with something interesting, and have no illusions, we’re in quite interesting territory. One piece may be full on ambient meditation while the next can only be described as turning one sample into an avalanche of rhythms which are plainly meant to exceed their design and obliterate whatever gets in their way. Then there are the long, droning compositions towards the end intended to lull you into a sense of false security; this one isn’t over until its over, my friends.

Nothing ever gets pretty with this beast, no, it prefers to drag you down into the mud and choke your expectations with it. If you like it gritty and savagely raw then this… creature won’t let you down; there are melodies awaiting your ears as well, they just aren’t what you’d expect them to be nor are they what most would fashion them out of. The resourcefulness on display is beyond explanation, KSDS don’t shy from utilizing whatever is at hand to make the sound field a bit more interesting than a lot of people would care for it to be. Yes, that is correct, they remain architects of a most dangerous style, it’s the one which gives marketeers and venture capitalists nightmares: proprietary. Also known as that which cannot be bargained with or bought.

Now the void may be many things but it certainly isn’t hospitable or tame, this record accomplishes both of these formidable tasks. They’ve come back from their sojourn in the wastelands but not with their head hung low or their spirits broken; there is a triumphant tone to what is on here which cannot be concealed and why should it be? How often do you get to encounter a defiant set of tracks like this in the generally dour and downtrodden world of experimental electronics which stay experimental. No sappy vocals, no clever hooks, no wistful choruses, this is a purely electrified wonderland with razor sharp edges. Feel free to frolic.

KSDS – Out of the Void
Babes In Arms, Babes In Arms #5
MC/Digital 2015

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