Boomkat Product Review:
KMRU and French sound designer Aho Ssan join forces on their first full-length together, offering a trio of explosive 'Akira'-influenced soundscapes that are far from ambient. Apocalyptic music that falls somewhere between Tim Hecker or Ben Frost's powerful cinematic thrusts and Emptyset's HD post-industrial maximalism. Basically - HEAVY!
Joseph Kamaru and Niamké Désiré first began working together a few years ago, but their collaboration was accelerated by a chance to create a project for last year's Berlin Atonal festival. As the project developed, their ambition grew, and their conceptual back-and-forth evolved into a full theme. 'Limen' is driven by the duo's perception of a shifting planet, and instead of retreating into placid ambient modes, they here experiment with sonic intensity, physicality and emotion. It's nothing too surprising if you've been listening to Aho Ssan's development - particularly 2020's Baudrillardian 'Simulacrum' - but might come as a shock to KMRU listeners expecting subtle drones in the mode of his breakout releases 'Peel' and 'Jar'.
Lengthy opener 'Resurgence' uses its near 12-minute duration to lay out a template for the album's brickwall textures and hyperemotional cinematics. Désiré's requisite Max/MSP glitches are fashioned into falling masonry in an all-too-near dystopia, while feedback-synths wail over fathoms-deep analog bass drones. As the track hits a mid-point it's pushed so far into the red almost every sound is obliterated by thick, hypercompressed sub-bass before the track completely changes pace, introducing a cybernetic near-rhythm and driving cinematic pulse. It's a blink-and--miss-it development that hints at the duo's club bonafides - one more element and it would have nudged into SVBKVLT's post-apocalyptic territory.
'Ruined Abstraction I and II' are more restrained, despite clocking in at a hefty 21-minutes in length. Beginning with android fuzz and sheet-iron electronix it morphs into sublime harmonic drone, hinting at the cracks of light beneath the chaos. Soon, the duo meet orchestral elements with fuzzy low-end womps that sound as if they've been borrowed from UK drill, and sparse rhythms punctuate an unsettling electromagnetic atmosphere.
It's the album's shortest track that's impresses most though: concise and moving, 'Rebirth' plays to both artists' strength, balancing harmonic complexity with volume and sheer low-end pressure. Just as you think everything's about to collapse, Kamaru and Désiré pull it back with impressive sleight of hand.