King Midas Sound - Solitude 2xLP
Label: Cosmo Rhythmatic
A meditation on loss, narrated by Roger Robinson and produced by Kevin Martin (The Bug), Solitude sees King Midas Sound gut out their sound following the bittersweet shoegaze-dub blooms of their Edition 1 collaboration with Fennesz, resulting in a starkly noirish elegy to extinguished romance and love in the end times. Combining the grown-up, confessional vulnerability of Robinson's lyrics and dreader-than-dread delivery with the most stripped-back arrangements in Kevin Martin's entire catalog, the duo drill deep into emotional suffering with simultaneously suffocating yet somehow beautiful results. Over the course of 12 songs, they glacially limn a coming-to-terms with a loss that has been enforced or unexpected, and ultimately arrive at the starkest conclusions with cinematic effect. Solitude pushes King Midas Sound's pessimism to heart-rinsing degrees. Staging Robinson in a series of vantablack scenes veiled by smoky, minimal synth-lighting, the poet processes irrational and incessant feelings of rejection and loneliness. From the aching desolation of "You Disappear" to the unflinching realizations of "X," the ache imparted by Robinson's lyrics is only amplified by his quiet stoicism, while Kevin Martin finds power in a sense of deferred gratification and his embrace of negative space. The effect is nothing less than transfixing in the physicality of Robinson's descriptions and the detached nature of Martin's sferic electronics on "In The Night," while pangs of lush optimism lend an exquisite contrast to the desiccated riddim and gloom of "Alone," and the sylvan keys in their sensuous reverie, "Her Body." Solitude is a more than worthy follow-up to King Midas Sound's two albums for Hyperdub and their collaboration with Fennesz for Ninja Tune. It's bound to reset what you know about KMS, and become a go-to album for anyone going thru conscious uncoupling, domestic strife, or meditating on love in the age of info overload.