Jun 2017 05

Category: Electronic / Jazz / Experimental
Album: Fig. 23
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Well worth the nearly decade long wait, this second album from kETvECTOR invites an impressive roster of prominent guest performers to join in the darkly surreal audio journey into a jazzier form of experimental electronic music.


Stefano Rossello and Justin Bennett certainly have their hands full, not only as members of experimental/industrial act Bahntier://, but with their own respective projects, including Bennett’s own ASKEW and his stints as drummer for Skinny Puppy and ohGr, while Rossello runs the eminent Italian industrial label Rustblade. Born out of a series of improvisational electronic jam sessions, kETvECTOR represents yet another facet to the pair’s musical collaboration – no less intense in its atmosphere or experimental in its construction, but more restrained, ambient, and even a little bit jazzier. Coming nearly a decade after the band’s 2008 debut The Infinite Regress, Fig. 23 shows the duo further flexing their exploratory muscles, with a dynamic and exceptional roster of guest performances to boot.

Throughout Fig. 23 is a distinctly hazy audio noir atmosphere, with slow, swinging blues rhythms and hints of horn and flute intertwining with noisy electronic bombast in a manner that will surely remind many of the noisier moments of Angelo Badalamenti’s scores for David Lynch. For instance, the bouncy trip-hop beats, choppy keyboards, and slithering melodies of “Forgotten Time,” which features My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult’s Buzz McCoy, the scratchy oscillations and Manu Chintesco’s sustained vocalized ambience underscoring Ryan Wildstar’s poetic dialogs on “Falling into Dreamtime,” or the ominous thrums of bluesy guitar courtesy of Dylan Beck amid a morose synth throb and dub style percussive reverberations on “The Elephants that Came to Dinner” could easily conjure memories of Twin Peaks or Lost Highway. In a similar vein, the opening track ‘Til Then” with Edward Ka-Spel lending his signature dreamy rasp atop gyrating drumbeats, smooth but acidic bass, and ghostly electronics will obviously remind many of The Tear Garden. On the other hand, the eerie harmonization of Doriandra Smith’s vocal layering amid percolating synths and frittering electronic swells on “Artifacts of an Anxious Man” might bear a resemblance to the likes of Vangelis, while Groovie Mann’s distorted voice hovers amid an offbeat composition of samples and synthesized noise on “Curiosity Leads Them to Strange Places,” Bennett’s drumming providing an almost funky edge that enhances the song’s impenetrability. “Nation Is Coming” offers a stylistic climax to Fig. 23 amid a myriad of frantic tribal rhythms, varying tempos, noisy electronic sweeps, and Nivek Ogre’s morbid growls and howls making for an appropriately unsettling and vaporous sonic impression, while bonus tracks “Ephemeralize” and “The Younger Dryas” end the proceedings as two of the album’s most energetic techno/jazz helpings.

Aided by the likes of Jeff Smith and Filippo Corradin, Bennett and Rossello have crafted a truly hypnotic, even psychedelic istening experience with Fig. 23, with vinyl editions containing additional bonus tracks. Not unlike Download in its presentation of more varied and experimental styles, kETvECTOR showcases a remarkable musical sensibility that contrasts with the more abrasive sounds Bennett and Rossello may explore in their other more well known outlets. For this, along with the pleasure of hearing such a prominent assortment of guests joining in the darkly surreal journey, Fig. 23 is simply fantastic.
Track list:

  1. ‘Til Then
  2. We’ll be Fine
  3. Forgotten Time
  4. Artifacts of an Anxious Man
  5. Falling into Dreamtime
  6. Nuova Epoca
  7. The Elephants that Came to Dinner
  8. Curiosity Leads Them to Strange Places
  9. Nation Is Coming
  10. Ephemeralize (Bonus Track)
  11. The Younger Dryas (Bonus Track)

Facebook, Bandcamp
Justin Bennett
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon Vinyl
Storming the Base CD
Storming the Base Vinyl
Rustblade CD
Rustblade Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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