Kostis Kilymis – More Noise AheadMarch 15, 2013
So the most recent album by the London-based Greek musician Kostis Kilymis, who, for the sake of the necessary caveats can also be considered a good friend of mine. The album, released on Entr’acte and named More Noise Ahead contains ten shortish tracks put together with an array of electronic devices, both digital and analogue and a few field recordings for good measure. Its a neat and tidy little collection of some cute little pieces. Like most albums of this type, I do end up yearning for most of the tracks to be longer and to develop further, but that’s seemingly not the aim of the album.
The essence of the album seems to be to form simple little constructions by placing usually no more than a couple of elements beside one another, with neatly picked out tones and sinewaves often placed beside metallic crunching, or forced pulses of rhythmic feedback, or little bits of recorded found sound- the essential concept seemingly to pair few, but interesting items up to see how they respond to one another before dropping them and moving on to something else. The opening track, Barely Outside, may be my favourite here- with scything feedback lines cutting through strange metallic abstraction not unlike someone kicking a metal bin lid around a resonant space. The basic exploration of how these two parts play off of one another seems to form the essence of the track- a simple and yet thoroughly worthwhile and rewarding concept. Elsewhere, the two tracks named Tiny Vices Parts 1 and 2 are more involved constructions formed (I think) from improvised feedback parts and throbbing pulses probably pieced together at a later date to form the jittery, nervous pieces here. The New Fragmentation (oh those titles!) pitches squeaking feedback against grey traffic sounds, while Negotiating the Streets/Elevate Me Later is one of a few pieces with a dirtier, white noise infused edge which slowly dissolves into the buttery temperament of heavily resonant groans.
So yes, five tracks of twice the length would have suited my personal tastes, as too often just as I am settling into one of the pieces here they have a tendency to cut off and move to something else. This is probably a conceptual decision, but a little more confidence in where the ideas could develop to may have served the music better. This minor irritation aside however, More Noise Ahead is a mature, subtly nuanced collection of ten acute little studies. At the end of the instrumentation notes on the disc’s sleeve Kilymis adds anticipation after the list of electronic items used to make the album. The perfect companion to anticipation has always been patience, and this one collection that certainly does reward careful, gentle listening.