Monday, 20 February 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #71 - Kingbastard, "Beautiful Isolation"

Kingbastard is from the Atlantic tangle of western Wales, I think. Another recommendation (thanks to Dr Garspaculus) and another adventure into a quasi-acoustic multiverse. Perhaps to be couched within a similar bracket as Supreme Vagabond Craftsman, the hedge mystic. There are similarly great rambling titles ("The Slippery Slope To The Lost Art Of Conversation"), the sense of sunlight on water, scraps of mumbled conversation, and the same hint towards the minutiae of mental illness.

This album is from 2010, but there is another due out patriotically on 1st March. The title track,"Beautiful Isolation" fits the title - but there is a manic edge to it. It is the beauty of the man staring at the sky watching an invisible sun blaze behind the clouds. The scary transcendental moment that threatens to snatch any of us away some time or another. "The Deserter" can be felt thinking and speaking inside Kingbastard - "I don't want to meet people/I've got nothing to say" - with his mouthorgan and delicately plucked guitar; before "Open Up Your Mind & The Door" clutches together more found sounds into a wind-tunnel of contemplation, a Nick Drake like guitar line fluttering in the slipstream.

"Multicolour Octopus Ink Nightmares" is maybe the best yet. Treacly thick medicated layers of barbiturate night. The more warped, distended domestic noises loom up from below the surface of the music like microbes under a magic 3D microscope projector. "Sound The Alarm, There's a Dark Sea Rising" is a soft harmonious treat, reverberating with Beach Boys before floating away into that searing cloudscape again. The man must have tungsten corneas, staring down the sun like that. Then some drums arrive, which doesn't happen very often, before it ends with a woozy, Once Upon A Time In The West whistle.

The final track, "Hapus A Ddaeth i Ben (Croesi Bysedd)", which translates into Happy Ending (Crossed Fingers), is as long as complex as all the others. There's some almost Super Furrys multi-track vocals around a simple sliding guitar tune. Before more Eno-like Sputnik electronic twinklings. It all sounds so happy and uplifting. Before it echoes and splutters out.

Rating: Get That Strange Man out of The Garden Shed

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