Boomkat Product Review:
1997’s range-finding, psychedelic masterwork by members of Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, and Porter Ricks, plus Kevin Martin (The Bug) and Eddie Prévost (AMM), returns to circulation on its 26 year anniversary vinyl reissue
Graced with a who’s who of sound sculptors respectively regarded for some of the heaviest drone-rock, shoegaze, techno, dub and free musics in existence, EAR’s ‘The Köner Experiment’ is a high water mark of contemporary electronic music. Since its original release it has become a touchstone for multiple strands of experimental music, renowned for bridging the gap between studio-as-instrument recording process and live performance via its more-than-handy coterie of collaborators, helmed by Pete Kember aka Sonic Boom ov Spacemen 3. It effectively converges a number of recording disciplines - from Conny Plank’s keening krautrock and kosmische productions, to textured avant-rock, the sensual spatio-temporal fuckery of dub and techno’s aerodynamic pulse - with a hands-on, live momentum that swills head/body in its oceanic moiré of swelling, semi-organic patterning in constant, forward, outward chronics.
‘The Köner Experiment’ would appear as EAR’s 4th release, and, as the title implies, was strongly guided by the radical dub techno principles of the eponymous Thomas Köner, who by this point in ’97 had conjured a stream of definitive deep ambient solo sides, before forging the Porter Ricks duo with Andy Mellwig for a clutch of seminal, subaquatic dub techno excursions on Basic Channel/Hardwax’s legendary Chain Reaction label, surmised in the ‘Biokinetics’ compilation. Köner’s feel for filtered brownian slosh is key to the album’s enduring appeal, as he distills the various inputs such as Prévost’s bowed cymbals, Kevin Shields’ guitar, Kevin Martin’s processed sax, and Sonic Boom’s array of synths, into a holistic, desiccated but ethereally resonant pulse for the ages.