EZ3Kiel
Barb4ry

By Elizabeth Wells

 
This is clearly a band with style and pulling power: not only are they artistically very smooth (there is more than an aesthetic nod and wink here to bands like Massive Attack and Leftfield, who also intersperse production-intense hip hop and reggae rhythms with simple classical melodies and instrumental interludes), but artists including Black Sifichi make a guest appearance.

There is no doubt that this is a project put together with consummate professionalism and for the most part it impresses. It’s full of deep, bassy, funk (Another); chocolatey vocals from a soft-spoken MC; achingly beautiful slices of dub, flavoured with clarinet (3 Rue Monplaisir) and sexy shuffling grooves (Phantom Land sang by the silky voiced Angelique Wilkie), but not every track makes the desired impact. Versus for instance works as an enumeration of all the ills in the history of our corrupt world civilisations: ‘cataclysm; BSE; barbary; bombs; torpedoes; nuclear; traffic jams; Zyklon B; Napalm; vicious; debris; gluttony; refugee camps,’ you get the idea. This is then counterpointed by a list of all the positive vibes that exist to combat the bad- such as ‘lullaby meditation peace caress’- reeled off by a calming female voice. At one point I am almost convinced that she name checks ‘hammy poetry’ within that role call, but on subsequent listenings I think it may be ‘harmony’. Anyway, I don’t mean to be churlish; I mean where would we be without some sincerely meant ideological fervour?

At times EZ3Kiel vibrate with all the energy of a tightly coiled spring (as on the dark and brooding industrial ObSsd) and it would be a shame not to catch a flicker of it.
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