Review: KK – Telescopes

Clearly not one to sell himself short, KK proclaims himself a “21st Century Genius” and although the name may not be familiar to many his CV boasts work with such diverse artists as Bjork, Eno and Britney Spears. ‘Telescopes’ is very much his own work though and it’s a journey through space, time and continents, largely based on electronic music.

The first thing to notice about ‘Telescopes’ is that it is occasionally irritating – anyone who is frustrated with Mohinder’s narration for the TV series ‘Heroes’ will find parallels in KK’s similarly-styled voiceover on ‘Sol 3’ and ‘Crunch’. Yet despite dispensing astrological wisdom, KK also knows how to write music that is attractive and listenable. ‘Magic Spell’ and ‘Voyager’ are made up of serene instrumental parts whilst ‘Pale Blue Dot’ takes the dreamlike state one step further with a beautiful sequence of synth melodies. Here, the journey of space exploration makes perfect sense.

Further on in the album, ‘Codebreaker’ mixes Eastern mysticism with beats and KK’s own Green Gartside-like singing. KK comes unstuck the more inflated his ego seems to get; ‘Ancestor Simulation’, for example, begins with the noirish atmosphere of a detective story before collapsing into a bombastic arrangement which wouldn’t sound out of place on ‘Riverdance’.

This track neatly sums up ‘Telescopes’. Most of the music is soundtrack-worthy but that doesn’t necessarily mean its good soundtrack music. So the genius tag is pushing things a little too far. Nevertheless KK has created a concept album which generally flows nicely; capturing the ideas of an artist who has clearly learned from the vast range of talent he has collaborated with in the past.

Web Sites:
KK Telescopes Site
KK Music Site
KK MySpace

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