kandodo – k2o (Thrill Jockey)
19 August 2013
Let not the fact that kandodo starts with a lower case ‘k’ deceive you. This is not an album to be understated. As a member of The Heads and a John Peel ‘sessionee’, Simon Price has been around for a while. k2o is an enthralling album of superbly put together guitar and keyboard instrumentals which reveal more hidden depths on every listen.
There are signs of the albums promise with opener ‘slowah’, fading in with synth before some interesting guitar layers make their appearance. A delicate throb throughout with the eventual reserved percussion moving the track along. Soundbytes from a tour of Elvis Presley’s home on the cleverly titled ‘grace and’, accompany echoing and louder guitars, and, sounds from a rippling shoreline feature in ‘waves’. You can imagine Price playing his guitar whilst sat on the beach.
The eleven minute ‘kandy rock mountain’ could be something taken from The Beatles’ acid adventures as it weaves a gorgeous, hypnotic myriad of sounds that drift in and out beautifully. It somehow resists the chance to introduce a crashing drum and is more the better for denying the urge. Synthesizers hold the track together whilst fragile guitar work adds a certain Eastern feel.
The Blues tinged ‘july 28th’ is the new soundtrack for your daily horse ride through dusty deserts with its crying guitar over an ancient Red Indian percussive back-drop. Not really going anywhere, but, at the same time taking you on a long calming journey.
The album of just six tracks closes with the mammoth ‘swim into the sun’. A twenty-two minute opus complete with chatting crowds, speeding cars and lapping water. On the vinyl version of the album, it takes up one full side, not surprising at its length, but, it’s well deserving. Slightly more upbeat with drums from fellow Head, Wayne Maskell, its length doesn’t really become an issue and it rises and rises. It is said that the track took two years to fully complete and it’s easy to see why, as its steady beat continually meets with washes of sound. It’s ambitious, and, could well have faded into nothing but obvious pretentiousness, but, it keeps going and is rather wonderful for it.
Published on Louder Than War 19/08/13 - here