Dusted Reviews

Kilo - Augarten

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Kilo

Album: Augarten

Label: Onitor

Review date: Mar. 22, 2005

One of the great things Wolfgang Voigt did for German electronic music was to ruffle the feathers of ambient music, to drop the bland from the beatless and inject grit into the oyster. His recordings as All, Tal, and Gas are hung with strange structures: loops click in and out of phase, elliptical string fragments are parsed through the audio spectrum. When Voigt let rhythms ride through, they were treated as just another layer or surface. Far from the tired, turgid ambience of the likes of Sven Vath or Future Sound of London, Voigt’s moods were unsettled and cryptic.

Voigt’s template has gone on to inform the “Pop Ambient” genre, spawning a generation of weightless drifters. At first, Kilo sound too familiar – muted 4/4 beats thock like a foot tapping a carpeted floor, tiny scriations dapple the event horizon like a procession of ants on the make, and muted melodies flit through headphones without settling. So far, so predictable, but Augarten is an album that includes enough alleys and surprises to leave you wondering.

Of course, context is all, and the “surprise” may be little more than a frozen wave of delay-soaked, shoegazer guitar shuttering away in the background, lending the track in question – “Sonntagsblüte” – a hushed radiance. Kilo’s winning equation is the addition of acoustic guitars that spill harmonious phrases from rusted strings: on the opening “Farn,” a simple tune orbits the room, draped with forlorn, misty texture. Thankfully, the acoustic guitars don’t evoke the deplorable folk-tronica trope. Their charm is all the more pronounced when their absence leads Kilo to slip into nose-rubbing minimal electronic music, like an under-developed version of Lawrence’s Absence of Blight. But Kilo understand that the tiny gestures that throw simple equations out of their loop are the most important part of essaying good “ambient” music.

By Jon Dale

Read More

View all articles by Jon Dale

Find out more about Onitor

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.