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CD Album 2005 | Silber 041
9 tracks, 50 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~98 megs))
: More info
Track Listing: Faint Echoes Ran Round the Unseen Hall (Part 1), Coined and Put into Circulation, Yellow Scales Slid across Oily Rolls of Flushed Skin, Interspersed with Semi-Conscious Moments, Anchored to a Central Core of Saturated Intensity, The Evening was Unusually Sultry and Heavy, This Inclusion Is Not a Simple Operation, The Existence of Another Goal, Such Variations Will Be Encountered Again
is the second album from Norwegian sound artists Kobi, the first being
the 2003 album Projecto (see AI #23). The band is actually
a collective, headed up by Kai Mikalsen who collaborates with what the
promo sheet describes as "virtually the entire Norwegian experimental underground".
Each of the 9 tracks on the CD consists of Mikalsen on sounds & synths,
teamed up with a variety of artists on guitar, drums, bass, cello, dictaphone,
turnatable and accordion.
My favorites tracks are the ones with Kjell Olav Jorgensen's drumming. "Faint Echoes Ran Round the Unseen Hall (Part I)" is a mixture of dark and eerily intense soundscapes with free-jazz drumming and percussion. And "Yellow Scales Slid Across Oily Roles of Flushed Skin" mix a free-improv jazz drumming style with bubbling spaced out underwater soundscapes. Most of the tracks are primarily ambient-drone centric, and all do a good job of blending avant-garde free-improv elements with exploratory sound-art and ambient excursions, and each transitions seamlessly from one to the next, making for a continuous 50 minute listening experience. Climb aboard and ride the drone wave.
~ Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations
This sophomore release from
Norwegian artist Kobi certainly lives up to its predecessor. This
album runs more like a movie sondtrack than "a collection of great dance
songs" or something to that effect. While lacking in obvious musical
scales, the songs form more of a landscape of tones, percussives, haunting
keyboards & aching, ghostly squeal just beyond the perspective of the
listener. They have an incredible gift for the use of loops without
being repetitive, if you can believe such things are possible. This
is a definite for the Ant-Zen & World Serpent listeners out there,
& one of the best in Silber's Catalog.
~ Poseidon, Gothic Beauty
Norwegian experimental collective
Kobi have released their second album Dronesyndrome through Silber. This
comprises a mixture of drones and improvisation made with real instruments
and electronically processed sounds. I'm normally someone who shies away
from improvisational and non-melodic music, but I find that if this kind
of experimentation is made by genuinely talented and creative artists (as
this is), is atmospheric enough to be absorbing and engaging (as this is)
and has ideas that differ from the usual experimental/drone/improv cliches
(as this does), then all these ingredients actually make for an interesting
listen. If you're looking for melodic music, this is not the place to be
looking (except for those rare occasions such as in The Evening Was Unusually
Sultry and Heavy, where a guitar melody is concealed within a whirl of
noise), but for a well crafted piece of aural art with interesting ideas,
look no further.
~ Kim Harten, blissaquamarine
is the second release from Norway’s Kobi; the musical collective also put
out Projecto in 2003. Kobi is essentially Kai Mikalsen, and it is he who
provides the “sounds and synths” that are then layered with the contributions
of several musicians who lend drums, guitar, cello, accordion, turntable,
and various other “sounds” that populate these nine bizarre musical landscapes.
The clever song titles are great descriptors of the various musical “pieces,”
if you will. “Yellow Scales Slip Across Oily Rolls of Flushed Skin” features
chirpy reptilian sounds amidst percussion and murky, yet forlorn fog horn
echoes—kinda what the song title implies. “Interspersed with Semi-Conscious
Moments” has technical musical dashes mixed into more dreamy (or more nightmarish,
as in Kobi’s case) moments—although it is up to the listener to discern
which represents the conscious and semi-conscious. The cover art by Mikalsen
depicts spooky creatures in deep grays and smudged black and creates yet
another other worldly stratum to these almost primal, and yes, droning
soundscapes that are best experienced rather than explained.
~ Anne Johnson, Altar Magazine
An equally intense music
is creates by the Norwegian drone collective Kobi on their splendid album
which mixes electronically processed sounds with “real” instruments (cello,
double bass, guitar) to create a wonderfully textured and ever-changing
soundscape that brings to mind ancient woodlands, ghost ships becalmed
on vast oceans, and all manner of surreal images, as it plays. Two years
in the making, the album has been lovingly crafted, the sparseness, textures
and use of silence as equally as important as the scales or melodic devices
utilised, something beautifully realised on “Yellow Scales Slid Across
Oily Rolls Of Flushed Skin” a track which adds stuttering snare to the
palette. This is an album that bears close scrutiny, each subtle nuance
adding a different emphasis to the sounds meaning that it sounds fresh
every time it is played, what you hear being determined as much by your
mood and activity as by the music itself.
~ Simon Lewis, Ptolemaic Terrascope
Kobi are a Norwegian collective,
headed up by Kai Mikalsen, who play ominous drone based music with a strong
improv element. Within the semi-abstract construction of these tracks
are features that make them work as individual pieces as well as successive
parts of a larger whole. Characterised by angular noises & pulsing
aquatic forms, underpinned by the click & grind of machine noise &
spontaneous bursts of percussion. Kobi’s music has a tough questing
edge. This sets it apart from the more sedate drift of ambient drone,
even if it ultimately fails to offer much beyond its own obsessive &
~ Tom Ridge, The Wire
For practitioners of ambient
drone music, there is a danger of creating a situation that leads to built
in obsolescence. How do you make composition after composition of slowly
evolving drones without duplicating yourself, without making the listener
wish you'd just released an EP and been done with it?
Fortunately, Norwegian dronemeisters Kobi, led by Kai Mikalsen, are sensitive to this concern. They weave one sonic landscape after another of gradually evolving drones, but are sure to supply subtle shifts of texture and instrumentation to differentiate them. Effects-laden guitars and Mikalsen's synthetics are accompanied by a wide range of sounds, from the "dinosaur moans" and murmuring percussion of "Yellow Scales" to spoken word passages on "This Inclusion is not a Simple Operation." The result is nearly an hour of intriguing, often spooky, music that is anything but homogeneous.
~ Christian Carey, The Daily Copper
Organic, free-flowing, beautiful,
Kobi's Dronesyndrome travels amongst meditative moods of
calm, interweaving improvisatory dialogues with droning soundscapes. Like
a carefully detailed relief map, the sounds glide gracefully over a varied
landscape, creating intricate and compelling textures infused with the
spontaneity of improvisation and the careful mixing of electronic and acoustic
Mellowed synthetics and soft electronic loops create a backdrop for distant lines of guitar, percussion, and strings. The textures shift with enough movement to keep the music interesting, and despite the implication of "drone" in the title, the complexion of Dronesyndrome is actually quite varied.
As an electro-acoustic work, Kobi achieves a perfect balance of color and seamless intermingling of acoustic instruments, electronics, and natural sounds. The percussion and string instrument performances are of particular note . . . scraping, rummaging, pulsing; adding dimension and topography to the recording.
Inevitably the nature of Dronesyndrome is searching . . . unresolved. But the journey is one amongst many smaller moments of truth, satisfaction.
~ Static Signals
Kobi's second album corrects
most of the shortcomings found on Projecto. This time, Kai
Mikalsen's rich drones and electronics leave more room to the revolving
cast of contributors. Except for the Jazzkammer guys, the guests appearing
on the first album are all back on Dronesyndrome. From Per
Gisle Galåen's turntables spew strange monologues ("This Inclusion
Is Not a Simple Operation"); Bjarne Larsen's rumbling arco bass carries
"Yellow Scales Slid Across Oily Rolls of Flushed Skin" into the nether
regions of the auditable spectrum; Fredrik Ness Sevendal's guitar is crucial
to the disquieting bliss of "Anchored to a Central Core of Saturated Intensity"
and "The Evening Was Unusually Sultry and Heavy." Most of the tracks
involve three players, two are duets, but who knows if they were performed
live with all musicians present in the same room at the same time, or if
they are not instead the result of minute studio assemblages -- there are
passages pointing to both directions. The music flows seamlessly from one
track to the next, players coming in and stepping out like it was all a
long continuous improvisation, and there you have another reason why this
album is superior to the previous one. It still makes for a rather dry,
abstract album. These drones don¹t grip you at a cellular level, as
with artists like Aidan Baker or Troum, but they feature enough artistry
in their composition and plenty of puzzling sounds to warrant repeated
~ François Couture, All-Music Guide
There must be something embedded
within the cultures of Northern European countries that brings out the
austere and extreme of musical talent.
Perhaps it is the fact that the mid winter seasons are sparse of light, or their climate leaves for bitter temperatures, which in turn nurture bitter musical rhythms.
Either way, haunting, experimental, extreme, droning and visceral are all perfect adjectives of what to expect from the best of Scandinavian music and Kobi are no exception to the rule. In fact they come close to the reason the rule exists!
Norwegian nationals, Kobi is the accumulation of founder Kai Mikalsen, Fredrik Ness Sevendal, Per Gisle Galaen, Kjell Olav Jorgensen, Petter Pogo, Bjarne Larsen, Jon Birger Wormdahl, Tore H. Boe and Michael Duch.
And if you thought that list had some long names then just check out their song titles with such ‘beauties’ as “Anchored To a Central Core of Saturated Intensity” and “The Evening Was Unusually Sultry and Heavy”.
On first glance such song titles might bring preconceptions of affectation as oppose to talent. However, if you think Kobi are overcompensating for lack of substance than think again as you will be whisked to another world with Dronesyndrome, Kobi’s second album to date.
Take your first tentative steps into the realm of Dronesyndrome with “Faint Echoes Ran Round The Unseen Hall (Part One)”, the first track on the album. Its brooding mystical sound will lead you down a discordant corridor filled with anticipation and edge via Kobi’s myriad of instruments, both electric and acoustic.
“Coined And Put Into Circulation” emerges neatly into an ambient sound reminiscent of Esa Ruoho’s groundbreaking work, as wave after wave of electronic serenity increases in volume – all the while hinting at a darkness beneath the surface with faint hisses and clicks in the background.
“Interspersed with Semi-conscious Moments” begins with surreal, Aphex Twin sounding beats and loops that casually progress with hisses, creaks, hums drones, and echoes that sound like knives being slowly sharpened. Gaseous noises, like steam escaping from pipes, help conspire to create a sound chilling and industrial.
Imagine walking through an abandoned factory only for the machines to suddenly warm up and begin to operate around you, and you’re close to the feeling this track provides. “This Inclusion Is Not A Simple Operation” is yet another powerful track. Centred around an old scratched recording of a folk tale, “This Inclusion…” acts like another menacing prelude to an unseen event.
This stimulation of thoughts forms the precise beauty of Dronesyndrome; that the sounds conjured play on your psyche, providing just enough atmosphere for you to create any malign scenario within the minds eye.
So go ahead, purchase this album, press play and see where Kobi takes you. It will be a creepy, surreal place, that is certain, but it will be one you’ll want to return to again and again.
~ Michael Riley, Left Hip
Like Lou Reed's Metal
Machine Music or Richard Young's Advent, this album
must be listened in total to get the full effect. As when listening to
the other records, patience is rewarded; one can achieve an altered state
through the music alone. Kobi is a Norwegian collective run by Kai Mikalsen.
The music is a combination of electronically processed sounds of common
objects and acoustic based instruments such as cello, double bass, accordion
The music itself is extremely subtle. It compares to listening to ocean waves or the rumbling of an air conditioning unit. The sound seems repetitive at first, but slowly becomes more and more transfixing. The record itself was mastered at a low volume. I think this record would greatly benefit from play on large speakers. I am sure on a large sound system this disc could be utterly transportive.
The song titles read like they went through the translation tool on AltaVista one too many times. The result is intentionally or unintentionally funny song titles such as "Yellow Scales Slid Across Oily Rolls of Flushed Skin" and "Faint Echoes Ran Round the Unseen Hall (Part 1)". The song titles themselves are unimportant because the whole disc acts as one sound piece. There is a constant subtle, subterranean percussion that runs through all the songs. Sometimes, a guitar feedback growls and bowed strings moan as electronics gurgle and whir in the background. Sometimes the sounds build up to a would be climax, but the music never quite reaches it.
The song "Anchored to a Central Core of Saturated Intensity" begins a journey which employs disembodied voices that call out from the muddy sonic soup. Fractured guitar notes repeat as a feedback-whirlwind rushes over high-pitched squeals. A low rumble joins the mix. The sound becomes more and more dense. It enters an almost Dadahmah like territory before slowly fading out to a person reading a children's story on the song "This Inclusion is not a simple Operation." If one is not looking directly at the CD display it is hard to tell where one song starts and another ends. As one listens, the divisions between songs become less and less important. Kobi's music to be fully satisfying requires ones full attention. Close, committed listening is rewarded with quite a fascinating voyage.
~ Dan Cohoon, Amplitude Equals One Over Frequency Squared
Upon first inspection I thought
Kobi to be a Japanese band, due to the bands name meaning something like
flattery in Japanese and the Japanese character on the front cover certainly
made me curious as well. However as it turns out Kobi is a Norwegian band
put together by Kai Mikalsen and featuring several other musicians from
bands like Origami Arktika, Jazzkammer, Salvatore, and quite a few others.
As the title of the album might suggest, Kobi specializes in droning experimental ambient music. At times Kobi reminds me of artists like Aeoga or Halo Manash, but never comes close to sounding as dark as those ambient creators. At other times I’m inclined to think that perhaps Kai was influenced by older ambient artists like Steve Roach or Vidma Obmana, but never does Kobi sound exactly like any other ambient artists I’ve heard, and I certainly appreciate them a bit more for that. The music as I’ve already stated is rather far from being melodic and just slowly drones away using both synthesizers and guitars. There is also some use of drums, cello, and even accordion on this album.
The first four songs are fairly normal ambient tracks, but something creepy happens by the fifth song. Suddenly the album takes on a much more sinister mood with undistinguishable voices in the background and what also might be sounds from a lake late at night. This carries on through to the eighth song and then calms down for the final song. It gives me the feeling of wandering through some fog covered forest next to a large lake where only the sounds of nature can heard. Eerie stuff indeed. If droning ambient like this interests you then I invite you to take this journey with Kai and his collective of musicians.
~ Joe Mlodik, Lunar Hypnosis
Of all the experimental electronic
artists of the twenty-first century, Norway's Kobi just may be the best.
The only other modern act that we can compare them to is Sigur Ros. Dronesyndrome
features nine compositions that are wonderfully rich with atmosphere. It
may be difficult to recognize any familiar instruments as the folks in
Kobi mutate and change sounds and instruments to suit their needs. Recorded
over a two year period, this album was created by Kai Mikalsen, Fredrik
Ness Sevendal, Per Gisle Galaen, Kjell Olav Jorgensen, Petter Pogo, Bjarne
Larsen, Jon Birger Wormdahl, Tore H. Boe, and Michael Duch. To the untrained
ear, these recordings may sound like abstract noodling. But more astute
listeners will notice absorbing nuances and intriguing subtleties laced
into these tracks. True to the claim of the accompanying press release,
this album "sounds better the louder and longer you listen to it." Mind
blowing experiments...and they all work. Includes "Faint Echoes Ran Round
the Unseen Hall (Part 1)," "Anchored to a Central Core of Saturated Intensity,"
"The Existence of Another Goal" and more. Highly recommended.
Blending haunting atmospherics
with percussive elements and spatial experimentation, Norwegian experimental/drone
collective Kobi are here with their second release, Dronesyndrome.
Shunning many of the ideas and restrictions associated with traditional
formal musicality, the group, fronted by Kai Mikalsen, combine processed
loops of electronic origin with found sounds and more organic instrumentation,
also heavily processed. The album's nine tracks, adding up to over 50 minutes,
flow together to form one long, cohesive piece.
Most of the tracks here, while instrumentally and sonically separate, carry a similar, almost tangible watery quality and share a similar broad spatial sense. Many are also commonly unsettling, dissonant organic swirls, unpredictable percussion, and familiar yet alien electronics and processed sounds/instruments providing a dark and eerie framework. "Faint Echoes Ran Round the Unseen Hall (Part 1)" is an appropriate introduction, heavily percussive albeit random, uneasy sonic swells bubbling up into a dark, lush sound. A heartbeat-like background loop provides the percussive drive for "Coined and Put Into Circulation" before its low-key ambience evolves into a spatially wider, less coherent blend of ambience and noise.
"Yellow Scales Slid Across Oily Rolls of Flushed Skin", on the other hand, is one of the disc's sparser, more noise-oriented offerings, an eight-and-a-half minute blend of processed electronic squeals and underlying, ever-changing percussion anchored by minimal low-pitched sounds. The following "Interspersed with Semi-Conscious Moments", even longer at nearly eleven minutes, continues in a similar noise-oriented fashion, replacing the electronic squeals of the former with more organic percussive and metallic sounds and, eventually, disconcerting string drones.
"Anchored to a Central Core of Saturated Intensity", the shortest track here, is also one of the most disturbing, a primal drone beneath a steady, reverb-drenched seemingly pre-recorded spoken word passage and strong spatial atmospherics. "The Evening was Unusually Sultry and Heavy", another rather impressive track, continues the drone of the former but throws in moody, melodic guitar and increasing strong distortion and noise elements as the track slowly folds in upon itself. An oddly mesmerizing spoken text about the coming of spring and the hunting and fishing traditions of a native population comes to the forefront on "This Inclusion is Not a Simple Operation". Its layered drones and watery noise fade into the background and grow into "The Existence of Another Goal" as the text loops and fades. The closing "Such Variations Will Be Encountered Again" returns to minimalism and noise, random string notes and scrapes atop percussive noise and subtle loops.
Both sonically interesting and emotionally effective, Kobi's Dronesyndrome is a rather compelling work. While its appeal may be largely limited to those with more experimental tastes, its haunting, uneasy soundscapes and cold, watery, unsettling atmospherics are oddly mesmerizing and powerful. Those interested in the darker side of drone shouldn't miss this one.
~ Joshua Heinrich, Grave Concerns
Norwegian Kobi is primarily
the work of Kai Mikalsen, but Dronesyndrome shows how closely
knit the Norwegian underground scene is as it includes contributions from
a number of the most capable Norwegian droneheads and improvisers. Dronesyndrome
is just like the title suggests an ocean-deep, slightly claustrophobic
drone affair that is almost collage-like in its overall structure. I realize
that I use that term loosely here as we’re talking about microscopic fragments
and densely knit drone webs. Found sounds wrestle gently with conventional
instruments like cello, double bass, accordion and guitar, but it’s rather
the feel of a consistent and cohesive whole that best describes this darkly
seducing drone machine.
~ Mats Gustafson, The Broken Face
the work by Kobi, is a work not far removed by the more structured aural
designs of Steve Roach, whose tribal drum signatures stamp his ambient
masterpieces with a war-like feel. Kobi supplies smaller lengths of tracks
than Roach, but still allowing for rich development of their soundscapes
and intents. And like Vidna Obmana’s works of oppressive darkness, Kobi
synthesizes insectile life within the canvas of their music making the
location more frightening, more alarmingly populated, and more eerily productive;
it’s a world that breathes and rhythmically pulses but its inhabitants
Dronesyndrome is, by and large, a foreboding work employing voice (may have been more effective as an alien language to English, or, at the least, an unintelligible language) in several tracks. It is also individualistic in nature, as if we’re observing singular entities rather than many. But it is the ambient textures that define the recording and reveals shades of dread throughout.
~ Matt Rowe, Music Tap
1 ambient noise, subtle rhythms,
guitar and feedback
2 minimal scraping, water, metal, ebow, harmony
3 subtle ethnic influences, tension, more noisy towards the end
4 a bit like Troum towards the end, gorgeous stone / metal sounds
5 voices, undefined sounds, short track
6 guitar, rhythm, experiment, secretly very beautiful; sometimes a bit like Cindytalk
7 minimale noise scape based on voices on a manipulated tape recorder
8 continues where 7 stopped. more drone, less noise, more manipulations with the tape deck
9 ultra minimal sounds; very nice alienating closing track
Conclusion: If you are into Scandinavian avant-garde and electro-acoustics, this is an absolute must! That's all, no nagging, buy!
Listening to Kobi's Dronesyndrome
feels like the audio equivalent of attempting an archaeological dig in
some blasted, godforsaken land. The group - a Norwegian sound collective
led by Kai Mikalsen - has proved quite adept at creating thoroughly affecting
and transporting soundscapes that transport listeners to surreal, alien,
and dark territories. But whereas their previous album, 2002's Projecto
was rather inconsistent and ran out of steam halfway through, Dronesyndrome
remains consistently strong and foreboding throughout its entire length.
Those familiar with Supersilent's obtuse jazz stylings will find much to appreciate during Dronesyndrome's early moments. "Faint Echoes Ran Round The Unseen Hall (Part 1)" recalls the spacier, more atmospheric moments on Supersilent's 6. Clattering drums and brushed cymbals attempt to provide some semblance of rhythm and structure to the roiling drones, shrieking strings, and spectral horns swirling ominously around, only to fail miserably and be blown aside like so much straw.
It's an almost impenetrable piece, and yet that's the very thing that makes it so intriguing, the way that it paints a photo of some completely foreign, unexplored place, a territory full of secrets too terrible to know.
Can you tell I've been watching too much "Lost"?
But the disc continues, the listener makes it through somehow, and as "Interspersed With Semi-Conscious Moments" unfolds, one hears the sounds of scraping and digging growing and growing, the sounds of excavation. And yet, the percussion creeping around the song's edge hints at unseen watchers, ghosts of ancient tribes looking over their lands. Warning, perhaps, that things are about to be unearthed that should remain buried.
But "Anchored To A Central Core Of Saturated Intensity" reveals that the Pandora's Box has been opened. Spiralling tendrils of sound begin filling the space around, slowly at first, but with increasing speed and volume. And worst of all, ghostly voices can be heard, playing out processions and marches, whispering of longlost ceremonies and rites. The dread begins taking shape on the aptly-titled "The Evening Was Unusually Sultry And Heavy", as heavy electronics begin playing something approaching actual music, but music full of gloom and portent nonetheless.
H.P. Lovecraft would be pleased.
At this point, given the almost primeval atmosphere that Kobi has conjured up with their music, it might seem odd to hear the sample of some scientist or other narration an ancient hunting ritual. And yet, the events described would fit perfectly within the territory hinted at by Kobi's dark ambience. Rather than prove distracting, the narration actually lends credence and reality to the dark times and places conjured up by Kobi's dronework. The narration takes on a life of itself, much like a waking dream, so surreal is it.
Dronesyndrome is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pleasant recording to listen to. But it is a thoroughly involving one, as Kobi's use of electro-acoustics, processed samples and synthesizers, and more traditional instrumentation, conjuring up powerful and stirring imagery within the listener's imagination.
And unlike some artists, who might attempt to assuage the listener with a relaxing, reassuring denouement - perhaps a lovely, ethereal passage that serves a light at the tunnel's end - Kobi remains fiercely committed to their arcane ways, even if it means leaving the listener in a more alien and uncertain place than where they began.
~ Jason Morehead, Opus
This Norwegian drone collective
built around the sounds and synth of Kai Mikalsen; may be wearing their
hearts on their sleeves with a title like this, but it sure lives up to
it. Spacious distance and slowly unfolding clusters of tones; very much
like exploring an acoustic/electronic sonic swamp. Moody meandering frog
like drums and insects flying in small delicately buzzing clouds. As it
gets dark the vibe gets more ominous, soon mysterious shadows spread across
the landscape. As human voices start to appear we are overhearing them,
perhaps it’s random telepathic bleed, or EVP nervously knocking from the
~ George Parsons, Dream Magazine
Layers of deep drones and
pulsating electro-acoustic manipulation. Listen closely and you'll discover
whole worlds of subtle aural beauty that as a whole creates one of the
most well crafted and enticing drone albums I've heard in a while. Improvisation
and experimentation at its finest by Kai Mikalsen and his Norwegian crew.
~ Everything is Fire
Choosing such a title is,
me thinks, a bit boring and also perhaps guiding the listener into what
he can expect. I may not be proven right in the first case, but drones
is what you get. Kobi is a collective of musicians from Norway, run by
Kai Mikalsen. Per track different people play, in different combinations.
Primarily everybody plays instruments like guitar, cello, drums but Mikalsen
is the one who plays synths and 'sounds'. These sound must be understood
as 'electro-acoustics (processed sounds from common objects'), which are
melted with the drone-like material played by the other musicians. The
processed sounds are very hard to define, as is much of the music on this
CD. Much of the music is played in an improvised way, and it seems to me,
not recorded very well. The music is quite 'muddy', or 'muffled' everything
sounds very much in one dynamic range, with not much care for the color
of the sound. The idea of mixing real instruments with electro-acoustic
sounds is very much a nice idea, which deserved to be better worked out.
Still fans of early nineties Illusion Of Safety might find their pleasure
here, as this CD isn't very bad either. Just some more production work
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Deux sorties simultanées
sur Silber Records (le label de Lycia) et très ressemblantes l'une
de l'autre dans un genre atmosphérique expérimental. Kobi
est un collectif norvégien d'une quinzaine de musiciens qui jouent
avec les bruits des machines et ceux d'instruments réels (guitare,
percussions...). Neuf de ces musiciens et deux années de labeur
ont pu donner naissance à ce deuxième opus (deuxième
album en effet pour Kobi mais loin d'une récente mise à l'épreuve
pour les musiciens qui composent le collectif !). Très sombre, presque
dérangeant, Dronesyndrome est à écouter
d'une traite, à haut volume et à plusieurs reprises pour
en saisir tout l'intérêt. Le titre "Anchored to a Central
Core of Saturated Intensity" (oui tous les noms de l'album sont aussi longs
!) est particulièrement angoissant et l'on entend nettement l'apport
qualitatif des deux types d'instrumentation. On sent tout de même
un travail de recherche artistique tellement professionnel qu'il s'adressera
davantage aux connaisseurs. De son côté, If Thousand, duo
américain à l'origine mais complété pour cet
album par d'autres instrumentistes (un rapprochement vers le collectif
également donc), semble appréhender la chose de manière
plus abordable même par le plus novice d'entre nous en matière
d'expérimentations sonores. Leur I Have Nothing est
proche de Dronesyndrome de Kobi en cela qu'il apporte au
moulin de nos torpeurs de l'eau viciée et bel et bien vibrante.
Mais leur mélange pluri-instrumental à eux donne un résultat
plus mélodique, planant et touchant, moins sombre en tous cas et
orienté davantage vers des contrées indiennes que nordiques.
~ Dawn, From Dusk till Dawn
Kobi est une formation norvégienne,
à effectif variable, pilotée par un certain Kai Mikalsen,
et qui explore les sphères planantes, d’un ambiant glacé
et expérimental à coup de samples, de nappes gelées,
de percussions diffuses en arrière-plan et de drones sombres et
lugubres, le tout digne de ces hivers polaires prisonniers d’une nuit terne
et sans limites, aux paysages de glaces concassées, tordues et acérées.
On retrouve ainsi parmi les contributeurs des membres de Origami Arktika, Slowburn, Salvatore, Jazzkammer ou Rishaug Marhaug, toute une intelligentsia locale du groupe.
Dronesyndrome est un disque particulièrement sombre et presque malade, aux effets secondaires assez similaires à ceux d’une fièvre, bouche pâteuse, incapacité de se fixer l’esprit sur quelque chose et l’impression d’être dans un état second, légèrement malsain. Au-delà de cet état de choses et s’il s’agit du but visé par l’artiste et attendu par ses auditeurs, Dronesyndrome est un disque pour le moins réussi.
~ Didier Goudeseune, Derives
Kai Mikalsen nerad mluví
o svém projektu jako o skupin?. Spíše Kobi p?irovnává
k prostoru pro aktivní setkávání a improvizaci
norských um?lc?, p?edevším z okruhu hnutí Origami
Republika. Jak už název druhého alba napovídá,
v následujících padesáti minutách budeme
mít co do?in?ní s hlukem. Ovšem hlukem ne jen tak ledajakým.
Hmatatelná improvizace hudebník? v duu ?i triu (s Kaiem a
jeho "sounds and synth" jako neodmyslitelnou jednotkou v každé skladb?)
jsou ?ízenou elektroakustickou h?í?kou momentu. Výsledný
tvar ob?as p?ipomene sou?asný sound Zapomenutého orchestru
zem? snivc?, vždy ovšem ve skandinávském podání,
kde cítíme v??n? ševelící vítr, praskající
ledovce a v?ni podmá?ených luk. Kytara, cello, bicí,
basa a další elektroakustické elementy jsou hojn? prorostlé
drobnými ko?ínky r?zn? pok?ivených nálad vycházejících
k Mikalsenovy zvukové databanky. P?irozen? a pevn?. Z blízkého
p?ístavu k nám doléhá hlas lodní sirény
dvakrát zlomený o p?íkré st?ny hlubokých
fjord? a hlomoz zp?sobený p?ekládáním nákladu
z pr?myslových bárek na b?eh. Dev?t improvizací je
dev?t obraz? podzimního Norska. Zem?, kterou ve zkracujících
se dnech ?ekají b?hem studených deš?? první p?ívaly
mokrého sn?hu. Výsledný tvar je nepoddajnou hroudou,
jež nezaujme na zb?žný poslech. Koláž improviza?ních
nálad chce, stejn? jako u desek od koleg? z Runne Gramophon, sv?j
?as. Teprve pak se poddá a je schopna vydat své plody. Jako
kamenitá p?da norských podhorských polí.
~ Pavel Zelinka, FreeMusic.cz