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Sounds Of The Empire

Like the soundtrack to a night spent smoking kif in a retro-futurist souk - you know the scene in [I]Blade Runner[/I] when Deckard wanders into the downtown LA casbah?...

Like the soundtrack to a night spent smoking kif in a retro-futurist souk - you know the scene in Blade Runner when Deckard wanders into the downtown LA casbah? - 'Sounds Of The Empire' is a humid blast of ethno techno that's heavy with the reek of exotic herbiage and frying circuitry.



Capitol K - Kristian Craig Robinson, from the East End via Malta, Dubai and Borneo, and percussionist Craig Harris - come to us courtesy of Mike Paradinas' label, though anyone expecting the click-klank of bedroom boffin sound technology's cutting edge is in for a surprise.



We have here snatches of downbeat trippiness like 'Janome Home' that evokes nothing so much as (early-Malcolm Mooney era) Can. We have the sample-collage craziness of 'Doe (My Pooter Sings)' and the hefty trans-global title track that weds Arabic strings, John Bonham-like breaks and digeridoos - yes, I know, but trust me, there's nothing here to appeal to beardy white blokes with dreadlocks who carry rainbow-beaded handbags - into a powerful and disorienting aural stew.



Capitol K evoke contemporary urban paranoia with a human face and it's all done with bits left over from 'Kashmir' and a huge dose of inspiration.
8 / 10

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