So Beast is a Croatian-Italian duo working primarily with the interesting combination of prepared piano and processed guitar, with occasional look-ins for drum machines and other such bits and pieces. Kira is full of manic-sounding songs, often with actual vocals! You get good value for money too, as Kira is a full seventy-eight minutes long. Edition of 150 CDs on the Time Released Sound label.
CD £13.99 TSM03
Limited digipak CD on Time Released Sound. Edition of 150 copies.
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- Kira by So Beast
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Let me introduce to you the Croatian-Italian pairing of Katarina Poklepović and Michele Quadri, a beautiful pianist meets guitarist story in which a frenzied and weird group of songs are created and served up on a wee CD on Time Released Sound.
What is immediately apparent is the breadth of what they can both do with their instruments. The piano begins as a prepared clang on ‘Intro Puntuale’ but becomes more of a conventional plink during the complex ‘Dear Mother’, whose intriguing structure lets it stand out. Like a fair portion of the album, it contains prominent vocals, bringing this strangely (for TRS) close to the pop realm, until the rocketing instrumentals break down via the turning of a radio dial to play a melancholic, free-form but slow interlude before revisiting the first part towards the end. The cyclic guitar and piano figures continue through ‘<’, lazily alternating between in- and out-of-sync with themselves and each other, instead achieving a sort of rhythmic drone.
There’s a decidedly Bjork-y feel to the vocals, elongating certain soaring words and almost whispering others, the voice moving as close as possible to cracking point. Like all layers on this, at any point it could be buried by radio fuzz at any moment, to be replaced by a crystal clear piano or drum machine, making for an interesting production style. This is a strange album, and at 78 minutes, it’s hard to take in on first listen, but there are fun but also horrible nuggets to be found throughout. Whatever the case, it’s definitely a refreshing expansion of the Time Released Sound family.
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