“Tribal”. That’s the word I used once to describe the music of KiN. Sadly, that review disappeared somewhere in the ether (snipped by previous editors) but flash forward a couple of years and here we are, a full blown album by this enigmatic (at least in sound, in person she’s quite lovely) artist.
Flickering is the name of this album, and, it’s impossible to categorise. By no means an abstract album, it’s more about the combination (seamless, I might add) of ideas. The found sounds (giving it that lovely musique concrète), manipulated to create either eerie atmospheres (‘This tree’ -brrr! Slow down church bell?) or to make the dancey beat in the back (‘Chemistry set’), are carefully, no, wait, deviously layered in a way to envelop you in a strange, almost cybernetic atmosphere.
Now, there’s something that sort of resembles an elephant in the room (or a found sound of one) so I’ll address it: out of the 11 songs in this release, 4 are from her previous EP, …, from 2009. The songs have been reworked (‘Hibiscus’ sounds a little faster). Layers have been added, the final product has been polished. Will never judge an artist for wanting to change their art (unless it’s George Lucas) and the reworked versions actually hit it better (especially ‘Chemistry Set’, very lush). ‘Little mind’ has this bass-heavy sound that, if you’re wearing good earphones, it’s quite chilling. The urgency of ‘How to speak’ is there. It’s a very interesting song, as it starts on a mellow groove with a pent-up anger vocal delivery. Then it explodes and this is the part that always sells the song. It goes into a dark place, where that pent-up anger has now been released, with just a chilling atmosphere at the end to give some sort of ending to the emotions.
There’s a lot of love to bass in this album (love ‘Reptile’ and that killer intro in ‘Disaster movie’) and the ditties weaved by KiN always make you wonder if you should feel safe or raise a shield (or several). It’s not overly aggressive, but it’s no walk in the park (unless it’s a Jurassic one). ‘Army of ruined buildings’ is probably one of the aggressively sounding tracks here, the closest that the album will push you towards the cliff. Then ‘Disaster movie’ (a true rocking gem) will kick you, since it’s another well-armed track. And if that didn’t floor you, ‘Flies’ will, with its little post rock moments panning from side to side.
You were warned. Aggressive and tender, a contradiction in itself. It’s this clash of emotions what really fuels this album and makes the concatenation a very tasty one. There’s an 8 minute track that borders on prog called ‘Flickering’. The music is quite good, but it’s Ms. Kin Foster‘s voice what really sells me the song. As much processing of sounds is done on the album, her voice is there; a raw, naked emotion for you to listen to (and you will).
If you like your music… heck, I can’t describe this. This is very good and the vocal delivery of KiN, a mixture of regret and anger, makes Flickering a considerably strong release.
Oh, and ‘Hibiscus’ is mesmerising. Love it to bits. That is all.