八仙过海,各显神通 (8 gods crossing the sea, each demonstrating their unique superpower) Various Artists Kepler 452b Records | The Electro Review
八仙过海,各显神通 (8 gods crossing the sea, each demonstrating their unique superpower)
Kepler 452b Records
Out August 23rd
Techno Tai Chi magicians, Kepler 452b, release a massive label taster various artist record. Featuring work from Ma Li, Tropikal Camel, National Park System, Nihiti, Mataya, Sestrica, MIKEY, Yr Lovely Dead Moon, and Miiia, this eclectic and fully rounded mixture no doubt carries the flag. A super-earth in a distant solar system with the possibility for biochemistry makes a great symbol for this out-there sound production team. Utilising subtle energies and universal constants, the music takes us through the fabric of space-time in expertly composed motions. Known for their art shows and fantastic music performances, this Berlin based travelling sensation is now ready to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.
It begins with long cymbal tones, smashing against the drumsticks in clatterings of sound. Then, a synthesiser tone pushes through the cacophony joined by more distant and subtle percussive strikes. Multi-tonal sounds creep and crawl in gradually progressive bursts of forward intention. Like pipes, the drawn notes hum and buzz as puffs of motivation fill the valve. Then, from out of the edges, comes a deep and resonant bass-tone. It crunches and fizzes with electronic energy, over-powering the previous peaceful sensation. As it drips and fades, it's over-shot by singing. Slightly discordant and childish, the voices repeat no-doubt famous words from some distant culture. Ma Li's The Children Of SurahAmma takes on a haunting quality as bashing drums and echo in the voices merge with sinister thumping bass.
Nihiti next with Techno Tai Chi. It starts on a distant thumping bass-tone. A growing world of huge weight begins to slowly fill the viewport. A computer sound and a percussive bash like a clock break in and find a way to mix with the groove. Slow and steady heaves into gravity and time adjust as the tempo increases with each bar. Hats and small strikes build between wafting synthesiser and space-age orientation. Heavy synths drag their cumbersome loads in as dappled music drops through the spaces in the line. Satellites and rocket-ships jostle for space in an orbiting frenzy of investigation. Strings and flurries of sporadic notes jump from the underground and project bright and vibrant chapters into the area above the music. Pressure grows and dripping drums bounce between sudden and energetic boundaries.
Electronica surges through for the next number. Frantic volleys scamper up and down the keys while soggy rhythm drips tones and pads down in neat capsules. Disorientating yet exciting and fresh, a horn begins to chamber through in deep and resonant colour. As it expresses in varying notes, it begins to take on a string and then vocal quality as the range reaches ever higher. All the while, jumpy and energy laden tones twinkle and splatter around static points of focus. Again, space-age tonics flavour the piece with feelings of expanse and cosmic concurrencies. Dreamy elements of solar wind flap like giant sails into deep and unknown pits of perspective while the rays of a nearby star fill the fabric with effervescent energy. State Of Weightlessness by Sestrica whisks us away, somewhere far and beautiful.
A vocal and sampled beat burst through the intermittent quiet. A story told by a seductive female voice with a slightly disturbing imagery fills us with a sense of together. Drums patter and churn while abstract synthesiser speckles the bars with garnish. Flow permeates like a cavern carved in ancient hillsides, vectors of sonic projection knit stars in the digital sky. New and interesting musical phonics continually blend in, inviting us to pay attention and expect to be surprised in pleasant ways. Yr Lovely Dead Moon brings us Physical Corpses. The music evolves again, allowing the vocal line to predominate before close.
Miiia comes after, with a massive number named Hal_trephes Mas_in_My_Dream. It's got a snappy and hard hitting drumbeat. The spoken words that glisten underneath continue on the poetic vibe from before. This time though, everything seems a little more hardcore. Gothic edges to the undercurrent of synthesiser bring out an epic ruin scene. It's as if we are walking among the remains of some vast complex where now only ghosts and undecipherable scripts can be found. Is this track a Rosetta Stone to some ancient mental thought structure? Or perhaps it's a Philosopher's Stone, transmuting vibratory principles into physical being. Persistent drumming and looping melodics keep a bubble afloat with neat and interesting kicks into the air. Minimal yet attentive to itself, the slow and meandering progressions bring on a hypnotic and mysterious energy.
It's followed by a vibrant and bouncy tempo. Boingy drums scatter their percussive voices as a tribe of ethnic vocalists enter with a holler. A rock drum beat lays across the top, snare and bass laying down a great vibe for the music to snugly fit into. One two drums make way for a snaking melody that creeps from left to right like a cobra rising from a basket. Another layer of melody comes in from the ground up, it wobbles and shakes on a sixpence curve of articulation. The eastern folk music quality shines through in brilliant bursts of clarity while heavy beats mangle with the labyrinthine sounds. Tropikal Camel brings us Rollerbergerstrasse, a track that speeds through gaping turns and bumpy straights while strobing effects maintain an atmosphere of apprehension.
The Ship Beneath The Sand from National Park System follows. With sunny notes, the music spills out in luminous shimmers. A changing tone with self-similar expressions that grow and swell with increasing pressure breaks open the tune. Distant kick-bass marks a dancing tempo while chimes and technological synthesiser sounds jangle and juggle their intense and joyful presences. A merging of tones and dream-land sounds folds together as a chunky and warm bass-line begins to wander. It all fits together in harmonious packages, a sudden barrage of new drums marks a euphoric upswing into even higher musical spaces. Side to side motions of synth and drum crackle and spurn within bubbling waters of sonic profundity.
Next, a whispering whistle enchants us with a drifting tune. A sleek entrance lets in heavy drums and a traditional sounding vocal melody. Another area of folk, this time perhaps from the west. Pounding castle drums reverberate on stone walls while a princess in silks opens her heart to the moonlight. A plucked bass-line knits through in stitches of vibrancy and melodious accompaniment. The music unwraps to reveal a dancing core, full of energy and emotive charm. Whispered voices dictate poetic lines while an ever increasing charge on the drum gives way to ever present percussion. River Fade by Mataya Waldenberg sweeps us along an adventure of timing and almost melancholy conduction.
More vocals lead for the final number from MIKEY. Spheres begins with a musical chant with pretty notes giving us a new dimension to this diverse album. We get lyrics and song with a backing of beautiful orchestration. This time it's a final chapter and it gives us something to remember fondly. We are all musical spheres, it's an attractive thought that we can relate to. Violins vibrato while slow and passionate drums fill in abstract spaces between. Peaceful attitudes with a clear direction to the stars allows us to drink in the music like a warm, nourishing soup.
You can visit Kepler 452b Records online
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and get the music from Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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