Scene and Heard – CCCXII: The Birthday Party –  The Kunig (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

13323429_977490829038264_5737524542532727973_oThe Kunig, to paraphrase Forrest Gump’s mother, is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. (You just read that in the requisite slow, southern drawl didn’t you?) Anyway, I say this because the recent album Kunigunda was a wide-ranging, musically exploratory and sonically eclectic bundle of joy which took in everything that took in everything from hazy dream-prog to slick and soulful west-coast jazz-pop to straight down the line clubland bangers…as I believe the kids say.

The Birthday Party plays into the latter musical territory, but delivers a groover rather than the aforementioned full on banger. It is full of dance floor rhythms and easy accessibility but falls more towards the early hours, wind down delivery, the shifting of gear as the club, party or soiree heads into chill-out mode. As such it ticks all the boxes, vocals that wander between pitch perfect pop, sultry allure and lush ethereality sit over the swaggering beat and swelling electronic washes. And it delivers the goods via restraint and understatement, leaving the middle ground between beat and vocal spacious enough that it is largely atmosphere and anticipation which fill the void rather than sound and studio machinations. That in itself is a brave thing to do, knowing what to leave out is a much more difficult art form than knowing what to put in.

I would say that this is a great calling card for Kunig and the recent album Kunigunda, but being that the music made under this name wanders so far across the spectrum with no regard for genre or style, era or ethos, I can only say that this is just one example of what you will find when you open the door. It’s a case of come for the chilled dance tune, stay for the mind-blowing eclecticism. Now there’s a slogan!


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