Some records are real slow burners that require multiple listens before the melodies appear. Crowded House records were always like that. I always wondered how the actual writer of this type of ‘slow-release’ song knows that they are a good song in the first place. Do they write what they think is a run-of-the-mill melody, then after a few listens realise it is a cracker? You also have to wonder whether or not the song is actually any good, or rather, after repeated listens you begin to like it through some sort of musical Stockholm Syndrome. Truly one of the great mysteries in life. For instance my first impression of the new E.P. by Koshowko was that it was mind-numbingly bland. However, after a few listens I have discovered it wasn’t that bad at all, only the cover art was. The cover art features to fellas, one pointing a boom mic at his head and the other brandishing what appears to be a bazooka crossed with a dalek. Is it supposed to be zany, poignant, thought-provoking… well I for one am not sure, but it definitely wasn’t a good idea. The inside cover has an image that is suggesting the boom mic guy is doing the good ol’ Monica Lewinsky on the crossbred Dalek-bazooka utensil. Odd and little disturbing.
Koshowko is the brain-child of Martin K., of Clan Analogue fame. This E.P Anarchy Monarchy features four tracks and remix and is pretty accomplished stuff, as would be expected from the experienced electro-campaigner. The opener, It’s Time Now, sets the Koshowko scene- a very clean, sheen vocal sound on the poppier side of electronica, with some excellent backing beats and sounds. However, for me the sound is a bit thin and really needs a bit of beefing up with some more prominent lower end. It is as though the backing is filtering through from the neighbouring studio. Track two, (Hu)mannequin should really be renamed (Gary Nu)mannequin as the opening is pure Numan. Not at all a bad thing, however, after the promising foreboding opening the track descends into a bit of pop pap that goes nowhere. It is unfortunate really, because the final two tracks rounding out the album (aside from the closing remix) are really strong. The Story has a great jazz vibe and Whispers a Police-style syncopated reggae feel. Two contrasting styles that work really well side-by-side, however they don’t help give the E.P. and overall feel; maybe there are just too many ideas thrown at the page for just a 5-track E.P.
An accomplished release that needs a bit of fleshing out, but I feel the best is definitely still to come.
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