The Green Kingdom is the chosen name for Michael Cottone, a graphic designer based in Michigan and the cover for his new album features shadowy child figures in the midst of a verdant scene. It can be no coincidence that the music is similarly-themed with instrumental tracks evoking a sense of childlike wonder amongst the chattering sounds of a forest’s inhabitants.
The first few tracks are fairly inconsequential; almost as if nature is stirring and waking up for the day. Then gradually Cottone asserts himself and the rhythms and melodies begin to take shape. For ‘The Largest Creature That Has Ever Existed’ the tentative steps grow in to a graceful and serene series of drones. ‘Wetlands’ is wonderfully mysterious, as a haunting, shimmering layer of mist wraps itself around the bleeps and the beats, whilst ‘Bonfire (tec)’ is a nocturnal delight. Finally, it’s then left to the lovely, downtempo ‘A Prayer’ to cast its lovely spell.
‘The Green Kingdom’ is a real slow starter of a record but eventually beautiful patterns emerge and – by the end of the album – the effects are quite mesmerising. Also included is a companion CD of remixes. The most notable of these includes bvdub’s Crossing Changxi drum and bass version of ‘Wetlands’ and the previously unremarkable ‘Bonfire (Intro)’ receives a classy chill-out makeover from Inch-time.
Planivaar, Mole Harness