tue 15/06/2021

CD: King Of The Mountains - Zoetrope | reviews, news & interviews

CD: King Of The Mountains - Zoetrope

CD: King Of The Mountains - Zoetrope

Voluptuous clouds in a genre with no name

Zoetrope: indietronic

I'm starting to get irritated that the term “indietronica” steadfastly refuses to catch on. We live in a world now where Hot Chip, Metronomy, Fujiya & Miyagi, tUnE-yArDs, M83 and on and on and on are as much the norm in just-left-of-centre music as any kind of guitar-centric bands. It's not dance music, it's not particularly avant garde, it's got nice songs and interesting, vulnerable lyrics: it's indie, but electronic. It's indietronica, surely?

But no, the years tick by, and this whole area remains essentially unnamed.

Anyway. Phil Kay – not the under-rated stoner Scottish comedian, but a former member of Mancunian prog-experimentalists Working For A Nuclear Free City – now goes under the name King Of The Mountains, and makes fantastic indietronica. Although it looks back to the German experimental era of the mid-70s, especially the more electronic acts like Cluster and Tangerine Dream, it's strikingly original, its ticking drum machines forming a framework for voluptuous clouds of synth sound that are very clearly made out of a love of the immediacy of sound, rather than as cultural signifiers.

There are vocals, but they are abstracted, drifting through the unfolding chord sequences like ghosts of songs. The title track even sounds like a dance track of sorts, gliding at high velocity through a fantasy landscape, while others like the two-minute 'Shinkansen' are distinctly out-there in their clattering. For the most part though, it's all about absorbingly complex emotions that sweep you up, clever immersive textures, and outstanding song structures. It is, in short, indietronica at its finest.

It's all about absorbingly complex emotions that sweep you up


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters