If the drum was the first instrument to be conceived, after the human voice that is, then the idea of making an instrumental album with drums and drum technology at its core is certainly tapping into a primal beat. Davide Compagnoni is more often found within the ranks of power trio Stearica, but with Khompa he offers something startlingly new and forward thinking, even by the high standards he has already set himself.
An audio-visual live act built on a real drummer using a conventional kit, drum triggers, a laptop and a sequencer allowing him to cocoon his drumming in real time orchestration, electronic harmonies and instrumental washes. And if the concept of rooting the sound in the primal resonance of the world’s oldest instrument may suggest something archaic and folksy, the delivery is as contemporary as anything you have heard, bordering on futuristic even.
I must admit that as a full 8 track recording the concept gets familiar very quickly. I’m sure as a live spectacle it gains a lot from being in the same room as the listener but as something to throw on the CD player…not so much. The warped and manipulated vocals and staccato rhythms of Upside Down World offer a bit of an interesting twist but this is certainly a set of tracks that will be appreciated for their considerable technical prowess rather than for their musicality.