REVIEW: Kolo - "Diversions of Grandeur"

By Wilde

Chain Border

KoloBoston musician Steve Pescatore, aka Kolo (formerly plex), started this outfit in 2000 and has been playing shows around the east coast since. He's worked with C-FOM recordings to put out this disc, chock full of excellent, if minimalist, EBM. Here's the lineup.

In an Untimely Way - This beat is artfully broken, with a 70s sci-fi soundtrack vibe and echoes of Herbie Hancock. Various electronics predominate here in a smoothly syncopated setting.

Cychsy - Bubbling, fluttering electronics preside through most of this track, vying with a procession of smoothly pitch-shifted waveforms over a breakbeat.

Convergence I - This is a fast, chirping beat over what sounds like a helicopter blade in slow motion, with periodic interspersed electronics. A catchy track, really.

Triple Agent - Here's a chunky, Devoesque track that is reminiscent of spy movie music (hence, presumably, the title) and indubitably funky.

Polar - This track is structured by fuzzed-out electronic percussion, AM radio/signal generator tones, and a low, subtle bassline. This is later overlaid with some squarewave synths for texture and ends up sounding like an early-80s sci-fi movie soundtrack. There are elements here that sound a bit like Harold Faltermeyer or Jan Hammer.

A Crude Orbit - With a pretty electro vibe, sawtooth synths and lots of low-fi electronics, this is the sort of thing that robots would lock-n-pop to. It's fairly low-key despite that, though, and very resonant.

Circumstance - Chiming electronics over a laid back, chunky beat drive this track. Radio samples pop up here and there.

Divergence - Seemingly random synth hits float over a quiet, regular beat.

Fear of Ruin - This one's a mixture of high, glass harmonica-like tones and vocal and string synths over a fuzzy breakbeat. It sounds like medieval Japanese music in places. The beat progressively gets faster and more erratic, then the synths change to metallic accordion sounds briefly. Then the synth overlay speeds up to match the percussion, with hollow vocal synths in the background. Finally, the beat goes on by itself after a brief pause, shortly thereafter joined by quiet pulsing synths and high electronic tones. More vocal synths come in and out.

Skweakday - Here's a minor-key track with a throbbing bassline, invoking mental associations with driving just before sunset.

Subversive Behavior - With radio samples and a "Working in a Coal Mine" beat interspersed with a faster techno beat, this has something of a sci-fi prison movie vibe to it.

Swelling - This track is underlaid by, well, swelling bass, with random electronics overlaid.

Convergence II - More random electronics here.

Helium? - Ringing electronics, variable breakbeats, and Hindenburg disaster radio samples are the rule here. The beat is slow and fairly measured for a breakbeat.

This is a really long album, very laid back and masterful. This reviewer highly recommends it to anyone with a taste for electro, hip-hop, or funk as an entertaining diversion. Kudos to Mr. Pescatore on an excellently put together collection.

Contact Information:
Post: CFOM Recordings, 411A Highland Avenue, #312, Somerville, MA, 02144
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