Saturday, 30 August 2014

KAN WAKAN - ALBUM REVIEW

Kan Wakan - Moving On (Virgin EMI) 
Kan Wakan - Moving On

Right from the get-go you can tell that this is pretty big stuff. The LA trio formed around Bulgarian uber producer Gueorgui I. Linev aren't interested in minimalism or anything too temporary. No, from the lush strings on opening track 'Forever Found' to the Kraftwerk meets Scott Walker electro groove of 'Moving On' you can tell that these three have lofty ambitions. The echoing drums and smoky vocals of 'Like I Need You' is Winehouse meets Mvula while the intriguingly titled 'Space Owl' has a chilled vibe about it that is more soulful than Morcheeba but cooler than Air. We're already on to track 5 and I feel like I've already fallen in love with this band by the time 'Are We Saying Goodbye' slides in like a classy perfume advertisement, all silk and elegance.

On 'Sawdust' there is an almost Trance-like feel but with more organic beats and then 'Clear Divide' rolls around showing off the seductively sleepy vocal style of Filipino chanteuse Kristianne Batista beautifully. The size and plush feel of these songs give them the opulent ambience of a 70s casino back room where tuxedo wearing lounge lizards do their damndest to remain cool while an absolutely enchanting, no, bewitching woman controls the room from behind a microphone. This music is dripping in soul and 'Why Don't You Save Me?' is no exception as it stakes a claim to being the next Bond theme. 'Mont Blanc' starts with some microphone feedback before the luxuriant Bulgarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra do their best John Barry inspired impression. The album closes with a two part odyssey, the first half of which is the skittish, Jazz inspired 'Midnight Moon Pt. 1' that builds like a Zero 7 tune that has been sent back in time to get the full 70s production treatment. 'Midnight Moon Pt. 2' is nearly seven minutes more of the same melodic patterns but as a lushly sombre instrumental that I may well have played at my funeral providing there's a bright orange sunset and everyone turns up in 70s garb. This is genuinely stunning stuff with a cinematic feel and a real sense of not settling for good enough when perfection is an option.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/KanWakan?fref=ts

Live Dates:
2nd September - Solar Culture, Tucson w/Mother Falcon
3rd September - Soda Bar, San Diego w/Mother Falcon
5th September - Container Park, Las Vegas w/Mother Falcon
6th September - The Chapel, San Francisco w/Mother Falcon
7th September - Don Quixote's Music Hall, Felton w/Mother Falcon
9th September - Assembly, Sacramento w/Mother Falcon
10th September - Cozmic, Eugene w/Mother Falcon
11th September - Mississippi Studios, Portland w/Mother Falcon

13th September - The Getty Centre, Los Angeles

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