Konx-Om-Pax – Regional Surrealism
Having seen the videos he has made for the likes of Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Martyn, you might have expected Konx-Om-Pax's debut album to be full of hypercolour synths, space-age R&B funk and complex, morphing drum patterns. Instead, the sonic landscape of Regional Surrealism combines the minimalist, cold, atmospheric ambience of Music For Films-era Brian Eno with the lo-fi, found-sound approach to synth-and-sample-based music favoured by the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never or Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services.
Konx-Om-Pax favours spiralling melodic patterns and rhythms over linear structure, making this a true smoker's delight of an album. Repeated listens reveal strange intricacies and a warped pop sensibility on both Zang-Tumb (featuring Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai) and the shuffling, moist, dub-influenced Slootering. The exquisite Glacier Mountain Descent is the high point of the album, with digital bleeps and clicks bubbling underneath a wash of ethereal woodwind and floating synthetic voice. Too formless for some ears, but those with a psychedelic bent will find rich rewards. [Bram Gieben]