CD Review

[1] Kilo of Black Bondage - “Fear the Windows”

By Marcus Pan

Fear the WindowsFrance is becoming quite a boomtown for dark ambient and interesting conglomerations. [1] Kilo of Black Bondage were formed in 2003 at the I.D.E.A.L festival in France. Names thrown about on the press kit you will remember from Rona's various artists project, Je Suis Un Etranger.

[1] Kilo of Black Bondage typically refer to themselves as dub artists, mixing together various soundage and ambience to form pieces that move a bit more than your standard ambient backwash. Dub, drum 'n bass and a touch of jazz fusion are blended to create Fear the Windows, using some spoken word to punctuate sections of song like Static Charge, A Bark for Fate and the opening Unleash.

Poetry Band(1) was one that sticks in my mind with this style of avante-garde spoken word poetry, but the difference here is that [1] Kilo of Black Bondage pull it off with applomb – the lyrics are mesmerizing and the backing soundscapes are extremely appropriate somehow with the material. A Bark For Fate is a favorite of this type of accomplishment.

Meanwhile Too Broken is a hardcore jazz dub, with horns, spoken word smashed together with heavy handed rhythms. A strongly moving score, Too Broken is easily one of my favorite spoken word tracks to hit the air. Frightening while at the same time catchy, [1] Kilo do an amazing job of creating a track that will mesmerize and intensify.

Let's step back to the opening Unleash, which has a brilliantly used vocal sample in the beginning to kick off Fear the Windows on a strange bent: "You're not making very much progress, Danny." Where that's from and exactly what progress [1] Kilo of Black Bondage refer to is unknown, but it pushes the listener into a muddy water of slow moving ambient with more nicely applied samples. It opens with a "middle of the story" tack and leaves you wondering through the rest of Fear the Windows.

The dubbed up Muhlet is brilliantly concocted with moving rhythms and seriously well written lyrical spoken word. As good as any William Burroughs(2) reading. The backing music moves with the verbiage rather than just tries to backdrop it and the two fuse together into a cohesive and well created whole. Rhythms will find themselves mixed up, slowed, stalled and otherwise dubbed into a strange moving eclectic form applied to a rigorous bass movement to create a funky jazzy tune.

Earth Multi Hop Whistlers is, as the name implies, a truly strange track. Jazz fusion at its finest, and I dig the jam-band style it comes out with. It’s one of those few songs that comes in really warped and weirded out, but still views to be music as opposed to mush.

I really enjoyed [1] Kilo of Black Bondage’s Fear the Windows. Avante garde, but avant garde done with a mind towards the listener rather than just a bunch of mush that the creator felt good to press just for the sake of pressing, which is Poetry Band and Einzeleinheit 003. [1] Kilos work is worlds better than other artists of the genre and have a certain flair for dubbing weirdness together into a worthwhile whole.

Contact Information:
Post: 1 Rue Alexadre Parodi, 75010 Paris, France
(1) Poetry Band’s Exit was reviewed in Legends #151.
(2) His Interzone book was written up in the Off The Shelf column of Legends #99.