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ktl - IV (4)
Another mighty KTL opus, but this album feels different and more devastating from the previous three: IV is the first full-length album by Peter Rehberg and Stephen O'Malley to have not been based on commissioned work, and consequently should be a more conventionally 'album-like' affair. To a certain extent that's probably the case, and these six utterly immense compositions run through a broader range of ideas... in an engrossing, terrifying sort of way. Some of this refinement might have come about thanks to Jim O'Rourke's hand in KTL IV. The renowned polymath takes production credits on the album, meaning that KTL can now list themselves alongside artists as diverse as John Fahey, Wilco, Sonic Youth, Faust, and even Beth Orton, as a proud recipient of the O'Rourke treatment. Opener 'Paraug' suggests there's been no toning down however, getting us underway with a familiarly brutal wall of guitar noise, instantly getting the blood rushing, but next up, 'Paratrooper' takes on a markedly different identity: Atsuo of Japanese metal titans Boris joins the duo on drums for the twenty-one minute epic, which transpires to be quite a departure for KTL, taking on a more overtly rhythmic, industrial tone than has ever previously been evident. The noise-sculpting here would seem to be a nod to some of the influences cited by Rehberg and O'Malley as being integral to the record's overall sound (e.g. Caberet Voltaire, Swans, Fushitsusha, This Heat). 'Benbbet' is another pronounced shift away from the more customary dronesing malevolence we've become used to, taking on a far more subtle trajectory characterised by electronically severed shards of noise - spluttered out arrhythmically, like a faulty, gurgling Pan Sonic record. Rehberg's electronics start to run the show with some scuzzy modulations on 'Eternal Winter', all very much reminiscent of the darker Pita material, before finally Atsuo returns with a gong in tow, on the surprisingly beautiful 'Natural Trouble', a measured and disciplined construction that transcends the doomy paradigms established on prior releases. KTL seem to get better with each release - and had we not already compiled it, this album would have been in our top 10 albums of the year. we'll just have to list it next year instead. Absolutely Immense.