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Komara - Komara CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.98 | 77 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I've always considered Pat Mastelotto the most progressive member of the post-millennial KING CRIMSON: the musician who arguably best embodied the higher aspirations of a historically forward-thinking band. And with the once-noble King now reduced to a puppet ruler recycling past glories, it's reassuring to hear the drummer maintaining that time-honored Crimson tradition of dangerous creativity, in effect becoming the unofficial keeper of the royal scepter.

His latest-to-date venture is a natural sequel to the year 2000 "Heaven and Earth" album by the pseudonymous KC ProjeKct X, updated with a shock dose of industrial mayhem filtered through the mind of Trent Reznor, electric Miles Davis at his farthest out, and other alien influences too bizarre and frightening to face in broad daylight. Anyone familiar with the cut-'n'-paste critical beats of Mastelotto's BPM&M project (alongside producer Bill Munyon, a collaborator here as well), or his eclectic local Austin band Mastica (likewise deserving a berth in these Archives) should feel at home listening to the new group's self-titled album.

The band moniker conflates the surnames of each player: David KOllar, Pat MAstelloto, and Paolo RAineri, together forming an unorthodox power trio of guitars, drums and trumpet, with Kollar adding the 'electronic textures' that help give the music its unnerving intensity. Credit is also given to a Sound Designer, and with good reason: Raineri's distorted trumpet often becomes analogous to (and indistinguishable from) the wail of an electric guitar, providing an effective substitute for an instrument already anachronistic in modern music making.

At first exposure the album might sound harsh and unsettling, much like the visceral cover art. But there's a living, beating heart inside this malformed beast, and its possible to discern a semblance of actual melody hidden underneath all the fraKctured ambience. Aside from some isolated vocal narration orphaned from an imaginary film-noir soundtrack ("vengeance chokes my I breathing?") the album is entirely instrumental, and largely unscripted. But the implicit song forms do exist, and give the music extra resonance.

It's not a stretch to hear the effort as a preview of one possible future for Progressive Rock, shorn of any retro-symphonic refinement. Which would make it a shame that Mastelotto is back on the KC payroll again. Komara will never enjoy the influence or popularity of King Crimson, but this bastard stepchild of the aging monarch at least inherited all the audacity now dormant in the Crimson court.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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