Boomkat Product Review:
Kenyan sound artist KMRU pushes off deep into Berlin skool ambient on a richly layered and empathetic suite on a return to Seil Records, site of his debut album.
KMRU follows collaborations with Seefeel, Luke Slater/Speedy J, Echium and Aho Ssan for the likes of Editions Mego and Berghain’s A-Ton, with a bouquet of bittersweet synth meditations that return us to his most intimate side. Doing for ambient electronica what his fellow Kenyan artist Slikback did for techno, KMRU exerts an expressionist angle on the paradigm with a distinctive grasp of texture and tone mirroring aspects of 0PN or Emeralds’ capacity for evoking nostalgia and a sort of fraught sublime, allowing everything space in the mix to breath with an unhurried pace and subtly stressed tang that effortlessly enchants to his slant.
Now a resident in Berlin, KMRU implicitly echoes the spaced-out seduction of Conrad Schnitzler’s early work with Tangerine Dream and Kluster, and later works by Cluster or even Sun Electric, in his navigation of buttons, faders and wires. The silvery grayscale tone and warmth of ‘guise’ sets the mood for a drift between pastoral melodies and field recordings of ‘in pieces’, thru the serenity of ‘luminous beings’ and OOBE-like sensation of ‘resonant sharing’, to his most bittersweet use of texture on the edge of noise with ‘In new fields’. From there the album takes on a more rhythmic impulse with results recalling Lali Puna in ‘mood’, and even more eaze’s puckered suss in ‘other times’, thru to a heavenly airborne waltz titled ‘just’.