Boomkat Product Review:
Flawless, romantic futurism from Kuedo, channelling the deepest thing for emotive anime scores, coldest trap beats and cinematic sound design into a magisterial 2nd album for Planet Mu 18 months after the release of the dramatic mini-LP, Assertion of a Surrounding Presence (2015) on his Knives label.
Plainly speaking: Slow Knife is everything you hoped for and then some. Using an increasingly formidable technical knowledge of how sound is deployed in film and TV - coupled with highly refined tastes for trap’s platinum bling and the enigmatic appeal of early ‘90s synth scores, he has achieved a feel for immersive environments and impressionistic narration that’s rarely equalled within the current field of producers.
Kuedo’s is a sound reared on a steady diet of imported US, UK and Japanese sci-fi - from the True Detective and Ghost In The Shell scores to Mica Levi’s Under the Skin OST - and filtered thru the sensibilities of classic electronica in a Berlin studio; sincerely and skilfully distilling all the best, cheesiest (read: most affective) elements of each style and place in pursuit of a prescient vision which has lit up the scene ever since his early work with Vex’d.
As opposed to his collaborator-crammed Assertion of a Surrounding Presence LP, he’s only allowed two other artists into his sphere this time, with Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe crooning on In Your Sleep (took a couple of times for this to sink in, but it definitely works), and cello from Koenraad Ecker (Lumisokea) on Broken Fox - Black Hole, but the rest is entirely the figment of his imagination come to life.
From the title sequence of Hourglass and the wounded alien wail of Under The Surface, thru the diaphanous dimensions of Floating Forest and the sublime X-Files tone of Love Theme, right up to the knuckle-cracking trap closer, Lathe; he knows exactly how to play with our sense of anticipation and resolution like some seasoned Hollywood pro, but without the pressures of film producers and big budgets hanging over his head.
Ultimately it’s a worthy successor to Severant, both conceptually and technically, and arguably makes the wealth of early ‘80s and kosmische-referencing synth music currently in circulation seem dated by comparison.