Scanner Unit – Live At King Kong Klub (RDB068)

Scanner Unit - Live At King Kong Klub

We open the front door to find the album art for Scanner Unit’s Live At King Kong Klub and it’s like, we’re gonna need to just close that door and have some coffee and poppers before we can deal with whatever’s going on out there.

Artist: Scanner Unit
Title: Live At King Kong Klub
Label: Rainbow Diving Butterflies
Cat#: RDB068
Keywords: Electro, Analog, Synth, Soundscape, Field Recordings
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

How does an hour of the most bizarre and unusual other redundant adjective-laden noise-scapes sound? It had better sound good, because that’s what’s on the plate here tonight… a feast for the ears and other delicate regions! Let’s get started…

… it’s like we’ve gone into the heart of a sonic jungle wilderness on some kind of safari holiday, filled with cicadas, whistling primates, pac-men and tape static when ‘Live At King Kong Klub’ begins. An ambiance of strange electronic harmonies emerge, broken by occasional strange noises, people talking, a dog barking, beads rattling… everything becomes far noisier soon enough, with polaroid whirs, the clatter of pans and a dense layer of digital distortion permeating the whole thing. In places, it becomes abstract and rhythmic, feedback-loops create the sensation of repetitive movement. I love the use of heavy, intense layers of melodic percussive sound sources that lay just beneath a bright surface of fluidly arranged noise abstractions. With every step of the way, it feels as if we’re coming into subtly-shifting landscapes of the imagination. The sounds are all tangled so intricately that it is nearly impossible to take them apart; they blend without blurring into a beautiful mess. Here for a moment a synth can be heard playing a melody… the real magic is that it sounds like it belongs there, even though there is no reason particularly for why it should. It doesn’t disturb the illusion that we are in a tangible place, immersed in the acoustics of a near-physical environment, one that may be doubling, even tripling over itself dimensionally. We come to an ambient carousel in a clearing in the brush of manipulated sounds. A sheet of steel the size of a house is being shaken before us. There’s an ear of synthetic kazoo… I must sound like a sommelier, I don’t even mean to. I’m tasting small bird, there’s the sustained presence of a grinding electric razor noise, a gong, several tiny plastic packages being ripped open. Alien atmospherics are expanding. It’s raining now, and someone seems to be walking around, knocking on a door. It sounds like their footsteps are occasionally being shrunk down and sucked through a straw. There’s an insect buzzing around in my ear. I just kind of float off for a moment, following it with heightened attention like a tense, hard-to-follow scene in an arthouse film. Everything is swelling dangerously, like it could either burst or implode at any moment. Somewhere further in, the sound has become very noise-heavy, with a subtle shade of surreal horror. Toward the end, more rhythmic elements are worked in.

It’s been a fantastic voyage. This is like… noise meets exotica. Light some torches and invite the neighbors over to drink daiquiris and roast meat outside, then put this on. None of them will ever come back again… except for the cool ones. Get it here (and be sure to visit Rainbow Diving Butterflies for all kinds of excellent noise treats!):

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1 Response to Scanner Unit – Live At King Kong Klub (RDB068)

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