Initially released on cassette only on Opal Tapes this is a much required vinyl re-issue of Karen Gwyer's stunning synth and drum machine workout. Featuring just three, slowly unfurling tracks, the record takes influence from '70s cosmic synth soundtracks with mind bending deep techno moves and strange off kilter atmospheres. True esoteric weirdness from this highly respected and influential artist.
Limited vinyl re-issue exclusive to us!
Vinyl LP £13.99 BACCHUS010
Edition of 240 copies in reverse board sleeve.
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- Kiki The Wormhole by Karen Gwyer
Here it is, finally, after thousands of rejected test pressings, Gwyer’s tape in vinyl form courtesy of a dastardly union of Opal Tapes and Public House Recordings. Truth is, and I’m not blowing any of my own brass instruments here, but I enjoyed this record so much that I didn’t want it to forever be listened to on smartphones, so suggested to Phil that this should be the next PHR pressing. And here it is. No need for tracking down one of the 50 or so tapes.
Kiki the Wormhole is a document of Gwyer on top of her game, melding growing droney elements with garagey techno grooves and subtle elements of new-age psychedelia. I mean, look at the title for christ’s sake. The release is chock full of expansive synth chords, trippy pitch bends wandering over the top and lengthy, patient track structures. Having only 3 tracks is no problem for this, just check the Bandcamp for their length. You’ve got a double dose of beaty, synthy goodness and a 15 minute ambient peace-out on the B side. Better value than any post-Brexit wine purchase.
‘Free Food’ begins with an alarm-like stereo synth that just sounds delicious on the new format, being joined shortly by rhythmic elements culminating in a stomping halftime beat that Gwyer starts jamming on variations of. There’s always a nice liveness to her sound, taking time out to focus on jamming on drum patterns, thumping harder on the keys to make the bass grow in intensity on ‘You Big’ and tweaking timbres til she drops. As well as being my fave on here, ‘You Big’ has this beautiful autumnal feel with subtle choral elements rising up to a sublime climax, finally broken through by the aforementioned maximal bass that’s pretty metal. Real raw. The ending of ‘Free Food’ is a lot more relaxed, with a sorta sunset vibe going on.
The release is cushioned to its end by a softly intriguing cosmic meditation in ‘Hippie Fracca’ (what does that even mean??), with its gently purring tones stacking up until we’re in full Tangerine Dream land. One for the zoned-out phase of any day or night, when you’ve entered the wormhole, seen its sights during ‘You Big’, and are now floating back to Earth. A great comedown to a great LP.
9/10 Richard 29th July 2016
I wasn't bowled over by Karen Gwyer's 'Needs Continuum' but it certainly had it's moments so when I downloaded this one as I didn't think I wanted to own the original tape release I was staggered by how much deeper and better I thought it was. I heard loads more layers of sound on Kiki the Wormhole, at times it's like listening to the tunes drip off an imaginary ceiling (not the vile one on the cover which I'm also told looks like an arsehole).
Anyway, the tape became unavailable but patience has paid off and we have a blessed vinyl release. Love it and her productions since have been excellent as well.