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StereoKimono - Ki CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.93 | 10 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Immediately after the release of "Ki", their debut album, Stereokimono hava managed to catch the attention of many European prog magazines and e-zines: in fact, it has been acclaimed to the point of being awarded by many of these as one of the top prog releases of the year. The musicians themselves prefer to label their musical style as "psychophonic oblique rock" - or something like it -, which may seem humorous and self-satirical, but may as well serve as an accurate description, after all. Let's focus on the terms "psycho" and "oblique". Their tracks are usually semi-free-form jams (some of them more extended than others) performed on the basis of a few sequences of atonal chords, which give a kind of "crazy" mood to their music in the energetic numbers (e.g., "Eh! Ah!", "Il Nulla Respira"), and a somber air of obscure mystery in the slower ones (e.g., "Phileas Fogg"); occasionally, even some exotic atmosphere (e.g., "Istanbul Di Giorno"). My personal fave track is the challenging, "L'Altra Marea", which kicks off with a quite disturbing intro and then moves on with an energetic motif delivered with inventiveness. Major influences in Stereokimono's music are 80's King Crimson and early Henry Cow's less aggressive side, plus some noticeable touches of contemporary jazz fusion: their own penchant for dissonant chord progressions and twists is handled with exquisite elegance. Even though their repertoire shows a high level of proficiency in the performance aspect, there is not a display of over-the-top exhibitionism here: it is the musical ensemble as an organic unit what is emphasized here, and the solos are not as prominent as the harmonic textures, which are more featured and fill every single space in each track quite efficiently. A couple of supporting musicians (an extra guitarist, and occasionally, a violin player) manage to help successfully in building the sound textures. In short, highly recommended for anyone who can properly appreciate the jazzier side of progressive musical tradition, which Stereokimono so wisely absorbs and recycles for the new millenium.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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