Kiln Sunbox

[Ghostly International; 2004]

Styles: IDM, ambient, glitch-pop, electronica
Others: Boards Of Canada, Mouse On Mars, Plone

I don't think that there is an instrumental piece that has moved me more than Gavin Bryars' "The Sinking Of The Titanic." Its utter wooziness and mournful drifting perfectly depicts that hopeless night in the Mid-Atlantic almost better than a painting could. One feels the gentle bobbing of the icy sea through the protracted flourishes in the sting arrangement. Blackest night is a low pitched drone. In this way, the sonics create a tapestry of a time and a place. All music has this desired effect to a certain extent. All of our senses are bound into each conscious moment. We cannot have a sound without a sight just as much as we can't eat a pear without feeling its touch on our tongue.

In this regard, the Detroit, Michigan electronica trio Kiln has created an all inclusive six day, seven night Great Barrier Reef getaway. A constant throughout on Sunbox, their fourth release and debut EP under the Ghostly International specter, is an ethereal presence of muted, slightly distorted synths that seem to be emanating from surrounding homing devices, tracking the progress of a sub-aqueous migration of the temporal lobe. Had Jacques Cousteau been laid up by a man-o-war incident and had time to dabble in IDM, chances are it wouldn't sound anything like this; but I have a strong suspicion that the watery, tropic-soaked circular organ and vibrant glitch beat percussive tinkery of "Royal Peppermint Forest" would resonate somewhere inside our much beloved Frenchman. The sprawling "Hong" is an eight-minute meandering odyssey of Air meets Mouse On Mars with the mellow interplay of a slow, pounding pulse and damp swathes of swirling melodica. Will I make the requisite Boards Of Canada comparison or won't I? I suppose after hearing the final track, "Season," that sort of thing might be in order, showcasing an expertly dense use of space and the controlled chaotics of dashing zippers and burbles hinting at a sinister tinge slightly beyond the dark beauty.

Sunbox could easily be used as a single piece in five movements. The struggle between continuity and repetitiveness is not a problem as each track unfolds and enfolds to reveal manipulated, slightly askew aspects of eachother that hint at a common wholeness among them yet keeps you on your toes throughout. Kiln creates a diverse homogeny of a soundscape that, although deep it may stray to explore the ocean life, it is never out of range of the refracted afternoon sun shining majestically overhead.

1. Royal Peppermint Forest
2. Ghost
3. Lux (rfp rebuild)
4. Hong
5. Season

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