Scandanavian label Smalltown Supersound keep up their recent good run of LPs with this enjoyable slightly batty slice of trance pop with K-X-P’s latest LP. As usual with Smalltown Supersound, it’s not easy to know what to expect when you stick one of their releases on to play, as acts on this roster are seemingly prone to change direction mid-album. K-X-P are less prone to violent stylistic changes, but certainly don’t give away too much as to what they are all about. I think they’re Finnish.
The opener, Elephant Man, is an inconsequential track, seemingly not doing very much at all apart from stomp around in a confused way. Mehu Moments gets all spacey with the aid of some delay pedals and a druggy beat: think Stereolab’s early stuff played a bit too slow and overlaid with some synth effects from Sons & Fascination or Empires & Dance. Now and again it sounds like Steve Hillage has got in on the act with some wibbly key runs. There’s a good six minutes of this sort of thing, which is sound by us.
18 Hours of Love starts as a monotonous drone that eventually breaks out into a primal glam stomp. The beat is gauche in the extreme: a little a little bit glossy, a little bit naff pop but a hell of a lot of fun. In some ways it’s a classic loser’s anthem, replete with screams, yelps and wails that have been heard in a thousand bedrooms aided by a thousand hand-brushes. Labirynth is one of the album highlights: steady hypnotic beats and disco style bass stabs propel a track that sounds like it’s been locked in a cupboard since 1979. Aibal Dub returns to the inconsequential, confused feel of Elephant Man: it’s a mood track that allows a bit of space after the steamy work outs of the previous tracks. Then we have an increase in tempo and focus with Pockets, which re-activates the druggy elements inherent in this record: as well as the slightly batty feel too: I suppose – if you were feeling pithy - you could describe this track as Devo singing over a Spiritualised backing track. New World sounds ghostly enough: it’s best described as a sparse meditation that begins to sound like Movement-era New Order and Epilogue is another drone that eventually leaves the cocoon to grow into a slightly bombastic work-out.
A very enjoyable waste of time, and if you like moody, slightly antisocial droney work outs, you’ll love this record.