Kl(äus)

Massive thanks to for the great review of Kl(aüs) LP in Issue 41 of Electronic Sound magazine.

“Full of good humour and sparkling tunes, it’s a proper treat of a record.”

Listen to tracks from Kl(aüs) and buy the wonderful LP at the Castles in Space bandcamp:

https://only1klaus.bandcamp.com/

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The review from Norman Records:

…This LP reminds you of the genuine place synth has as a dominating force in prog music, rather than just its supplement — it’s got the fogginess of Tangerine Dream, the glistening new-agisms of Laraaji and a hell of a lot of the psychedelic jamming you can come to expect from anyone with a modular and a penchant for existence at a Deep Distance.

Bits of this are just lovely, though. The flute filibuster that opens up “Proof Portal” is nothing if not ambient comfort food, a lovely, synth-scoped intro to what becomes another self-perpetuating mass of tinkering synth rotations. Other parts get lost in the speedy tunnels of time, such as “It Hurts To Shoot Gloves From Your Stick, but It’s Necessary”… here is where I’d usually describe the track, but that title has given me an idea: let’s stop music forever.

This is gonna appeal to fans of a lot of things: it’s got the rapid-fire whirring of a lot of kosmische classics, but also has a glowing ambient sustain going on in its backdrop. Those who enjoy incredibly vintage electronic music where the synth melodies sound like grandparents of Boards of Canada, you might find a good resting place for your ears. Me? I am now a robot. Thanks, guys

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A review from the estimable Mr James Lister:

Today, it feels like many bands are referencing the past – in sound, in images, in methods of composition. It’s hard not to – but it’s harder to find the vocabulary that works and refine it further. Inspired by “Berlin School Electronic Music” – a style driven by hypnotic, evolving sequence(r)s, Sydney duo Kl(aus) is no exception. With just a taste of live and recorded work so far, they have affirmed a definition of creativity – taking divergent ideas that they demonstrate clear passion for and making them work without slavish reference to technical errata that may serve a genre definition better than a good tune.

Is it “artisanal” electronic music with a Teutonic feel, ironically served up in an unusual context? No. It is the work of people who haven’t set limitations on the number of keyboards you can stack up in a venue, Emerson-style, and simply let rip. Coming from an impatient (let’s call it ‘punk’) perspective with deeper Krautrock sympathies, any piece of music over four minutes by individuals with a modicum of musical training can sometimes offend. But here it isn’t an obstacle. There’s a sense of recalling the familiar, and it is presented deftly. But the real excitement is in where a band with chops, a sensitive approach to crafting sounds, unpredictable sequences with a love of driving synth lines and unrestrained solos might go next. 

This is best demonstrated in the opener “Three Sheets,” a cinematic piece that builds gently and then thunders through the room. (I saw “Miracle Mile” in my head during this one). With room to move, Kl(aus)’ trajectory should echo these sentiments.

https://only1klaus.bandcamp.com/

Simon James – Akiha Den Den

Akiha Den Den by Simon James is the soundtrack music for an abandoned amusement park. Available from the Castles in Space bandcamp shop: https://simonjames-cis.bandcamp.com/

CiS 020 is a presented as a clear vinyl LP, accompanied by an additional 70 minutes of music on a CD entitled “The Panatrope”. The Package also includes a Digital Download.

This vinyl and CD package collects electronic music created for an abandoned space: Akiha Den Den, the crumbling amusement park at the centre of a surreal radio drama, and the setting for a story woven from the very fabric of radio. Radiophonic and other dimensional library inspired cues soundtrack dilapidated ghost train rides, rusty dodgems and the domed Panatrope. The dark musings inside the mind of a talking thought-mining cockroach, a mysterious character known only as Monday Man and the main protagonist, M.R Cuttings (played by Star Wars’ Ian McDiarmid), a radio ham picking up the desperate transmissions from this strange ethereal place they call Akiha Den Den.

Simon James has conjured up an eerie world of pure escapist sound for this fever dream of radio waves and half heard transmissions. Radio interference, snatches of intercepted broadcasts, codes, tones, signals and other haunting sounds from the wireless feature heavily alongside the soundtrack conjured up on an array of vintage, unfathomable synthesisers including the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box and the EMS VCS3. Occasionally the voices of Akiha Den Den’s inhabitants and M.R Cuttings burn through the white noise offering a glimpse of their tangled patchbay story.

The full radio drama can be heard at http://www.akihadenden.com

Released on a specially requested opaque clear vinyl LP, the physical package also includes a redacted Akiha Den Den booklet (all artwork designed by Nick Taylor) and a beautiful bonus CD filled with over 70 minutes of Buchla Modular, EMS, drones, dramatics, cassette 4 track abuse and noise from the Akiha Den Den radio series.

Simon James has previously released space age synthesiser records as The Simonsound (with Matt Ford) and as celebrated night time doom project Black Channels (with Becky Randall) on Death Waltz Originals and Castles in Space.

This package is a must for fans of radio, inventive electronica, radiophonics, vintage synths and imagined worlds.

Video for Digging In The Dust from the Simon James soundtrack LP for Akiha Den Den:

There are still copies available from the Castles in Space bandcamp shop.

Video for Silph from the Simon James soundtrack LP for Akiha Den Den:

Simon James.

Akiha Den Den LP Review from Electronic Sounds magazine: