The second record from KVB does an excellent job mixing synthesizers and a bass-heavy rock throb with classic-style dramatic vocals. Of Desire could have emerged from one of the late 80’s finer bands. Made at Invada studios using some wonderful synths and released on Geoff Barrow's very own Invada label.
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Repress LP on Invada - pressed on half red / half blue translucent vinyl.
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When he’s not tweeting swears, Geoff Barrow is putting out music, and you’d better believe he likes the KVB, a prolific duo who themselves are partial to synths, propulsion and talk-whispering. Their last record, ‘Mirror Being’, was a tone poem of taut industrial beats and metallic ambience, though listening to ‘Of Desire’ I almost definitely feel like I’m remembering it wrong: this one begins on a krautrock melody so lovely and bright that I feel waves of gothic love, while the beat rattles joyously between the headphones. Shining synth chords sustain and ever-so-slightly push the clouds along: were the KVB just making gorgeous music all along and I didn’t realise? Probably. Realising is not my forte.
A beat that kinda actually reminds me of latter-day Portishead (or just subdued, throbbing techno) opens “Night Games”, which involves the KVB’s secret residency in post-punk again by throwing out clear but grumbling guitar riffs. It shows again that their love for hybridising genre isn’t for the press junket as much as its for the atmosphere -- get everyone out of the room and just fill it with moods. Distorted guitar and fret crackings invade the rhythmic pulse of “Silent Wave”, which echoes and stutters so much it might make you feel like you’re five separate stages of the same person.
I used to think the KVB were a dark band making unrelenting coldwave: now I see a sort of light to their music, or maybe just a clarity. These tunes have accessible entry-points and hit you with their big ideas once you’re in, making for a record you can float along in and then pick up the feelings from later. Great electronic things are happening and I have plugged my ears in.
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- Of Desire by The KVB
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