REVIEW: Kuroi Mori - "Dawning"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

DawningThe latest underground buzz is for the band Kuroi Mori. Dawning is an odd collection of songs that range from dark, somewhat industrial to jazz-fusion. It is simply pointless to pigeonhole this into any one genre because they successfully blurred the lines. Music purists will probably discuss this until the end of time. Listeners however, will just kick back and enjoy the musical ride.

Time and Space is a trance like envelopment with a ominous recitation which nags like a bad unconscious reminder of all that one is trying to forget. The sound effects are sparse but well placed to give the track another spatial level. The admonishment to open your life and live it fully because NOW is all there is, passionately reflects this sentiment as it is shouted at the listener in some future style motivation. This is a rather odd track that will grow on listeners relatively fast after repeated listens.

Floating emanates with the similar tranquility one would expect from some of the tracks from My Scarlet Life. The music isn't goth or industrial, but has a dark atmospheric and electronic experimentation that defies genre labeling, yet is just over the edge of a form of darkwave to make it acceptable and enjoyable for the darkwave and ethereal fans.

Flip Light Cruiser has a haunted fighter jet feeling at the intro that segues into an experimental jazz like composition, similar to works from My Scarlet Life. Choral Prelude BWV 639; from the depth of jazz fusion from the previous track ,we are then plunged into a morose and well crafted piano solo with hints of elements from a ghostly realm weaving between the spheres. I Said, He Said reflects a drum and bass element married to haunted trip hop. The vocals on this track are nothing short of sublime, seductive and gently haunting. From tracks 5 through 9, it is almost as if the CD was designed for lovemaking during the quiet hours of the post midnight hour.

Circus delivers even more trip hop/drum and bass/electronic hybrids. The styles are broadly utilized that one could place this track in any number of genres, including modern jazz for its transitional quality. Slow has a more midnight jazz groove embodied with this track, similar to the atmospherics from Flip Light Cruiser. I Feel delivers a thematic track similar in style from those featured in police drama television shows that were infamous during the 1970's. Dawning combines the Asian elements of nature and music with incorporations of water drips, wind and hand chimes. The track conveys a musical collage of an opening of the heart and soul from some form of frozen internal tundra.

Dawning is an album of a variety of styles and sound that are quite expertly done. Those in the underground looking for darker fare would be advised to seek elsewhere. The work has minimal elements that would classify it as dark, but is rather heavy on the jazz, experimental hybrid that works efficiently, though may grate on some goth purists who want their tones as dark as possible. Some tracks have made it to a number of DJ playlists over the last few months. Given the trip hop, slow groove and drum & bass elements on some of the song, it is understandable how this could actually work in some underground clubs.

Kuroi Mori did not create an album to flail your arms around to, nor did it give any indication that it was meant for fans of that style. This work is introspective, simply asking the listening audience to mesh with sound in some symbiotic experience, as if in some mental tantric experience. The fact that some tracks have a bit of a dance element to them seems to be more of an after thought than an actual primary intention with the song conceptions. As a background album, particularly for the more adventurous, it works well for intimate moments. One could also seek some solace in the gentle rhythms to simply chill out with during the overcast and cloudy days where anything too boisterous would seem totally out of place.

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