Boomkat Product Review:
It’s been a long time in the making, but KTL’s fifth slab of blackened wax is finally upon us, and what a treat it is. Peter Rehberg and Stephen O’Malley’s grim collaboration may have begun as an ear-clawing take on the doom metal subgenre, but on ‘V’ the duo strip the metal from their deathly compositions. In fact much of the record was recorded at electronic music Meccas GRM (in Paris) and EMS (in Stockholm), so that should give you some idea of the direction we’re taking here. While hardly a ‘classical’ record, the sounds on ‘V’ are rooted in the European minimalism of Eliane Radigue or even Gyorgy Ligeti, with Rehberg’s distinctive electronic processes drifting further and further away from the choppy noise of his Pita days. Atonal, bass-laced string clusters scratch and squeal their way through the first half of the record sounding like a post-apocalyptic take on Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. This is a darker, more punishing side of the lithium-addled noise of the duo’s previous records, and what stuns the most is that it’s done without resorting to obvious tropes. The album’s stand-out is an unexpected collaboration with Johann Johannsson, who works wonders arranging ‘Phill 2’; a roomy, stomach churning masterpiece which comes across as a demonic counterpoint to Gavin Bryars’ comparatively Angelic ‘Sinking of the Titanic’. Anyone out there with a vague interest in the darker realms of experimental music should grab this without delay – even those of you who were undecided on KTL’s previous records, ‘V’ without a doubt is their crowning effort to date. Unmissable.