erasing clouds

2 Music Reviews: Sauna Kings, Someone Else

by dave heaton

Sauna Kings, Waiting for the Sun (Pink Sock Records)

Sauna Kings dream up electronic music that's dusty, lusty, and ragged. You want more adjectives? It's also wild, romantic, dark, warped, rebellious. The duo recorded the album separately: Electro Atomu in Cologne, Germany and Trztn, also a member of the equally twisted Flux Information Sciences, in Brooklyn, New York. That fact is both relvevant - given how brazenly schizophrenic the music is - and not, considering how much it sounds like one beast, albeit an oddly shaped, previously undiscovered beast with many heads and limbs. Sauna Kings' debut album Waiting for the Sun has the relaxed freedom of a summer vacation or a freeform experiment but also the shadowy atmosphere of a film noir. The album casually veers from pop songs created in an electronic junkyard where outsider-vocalists weave their voices over shifting, near-hip-hop textures, to multi-leveled barrages of beats that are both industrial and melodic. And around and back again we go. Sauna Kings play electronic music like adventurers, ready to head towards whatever dark alley or long-neglected swimming hole they come across.

Someone Else, Goofball EP (unfoundsound)

The free-MP3 alter-ego of the electronic-music label foundsoundrecords kicked itself off with this four-track EP from Someone Else, aka Sean O' Neal of Flowchart. Goofball is the name, and this music does have a certain goofball sensibility to it - it's goofy in a creative-and-fun sort of way, especially the title track, which is a minimalist dance track built around odd sounds someone's making with his mouth (not beat-boxing per se, but sighing, hemming/hawing, coughing, clicking). Underneath the funny-human noises is a relaxed but actually kind of complicated melodic pattern that's quite fetching. "The Market" and "Dink 'n' Strum" similarly use unusual sounds ("found sounds" perhaps) in the midst of sensual and body-moving tracks. The fourth track on the EP is Fusiphorm's "ungoofable remix" of "Goofball" - a stylistic step to the side that sets the pleasures of the original track in a slightly different, somewhat more stylized light.

Issue 29, December 2004

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