Jan 2020 27

Album CoverKANGA
Album: Eternal Daughter EP
Category: Electronic / Darkwave
Label: Self-released
Released Date: 2019-09-09


In a short time, Kanga Duchamp has made quite an impact on the industrial scene; in 2016, she released her self-titled debut album on Negative Gain Productions, followed by a rigorous period of live performances at numerous festivals and even touring with the legendary Gary Numan. Needless to say, she has been busy, and while her album was very well received, some wondered if the participation of such prominent names as Rhys Fulber, Greg Reely, and guitarist Matthew Setzer may have played a larger part than the liner notes would have us believe. Is she really a capable musician and producer? Well, her newest outing – the Eternal Daughter EP – seems to wave the proverbial middle finger at these detractors, and not just because it’s a self-released effort without the aid of a label. After a tensely atmospheric intro, the lyrics to the opening “Burn” seen to address her critics rather brazenly with lines like “I know you hate me,” and “I’m not trouble, you’re just weak,” even beginning by saying “I’ve learned my lesson, I’ve honed my skill,” and you’d best watch out, because despite the seemingly lithe and airy tone of her voice, KANGA’s still got the same fangs she bore from the debut. From start to finish, Eternal Daughter showcases her mastery of production and songwriting, from the glitchy vocal effects subtly meshing with the controlled synthetic energy and dynamic percussion of “Daughter” to the forceful shifts in rhythm on “Control,” as staccato breaks move into a galloping thrust in the chorus. There is a distinct synthwave influence on the EP, which is especially prevalent on “Cocaine” as the angular synth leads and multiple layers of vocals wax and wane with each other, always coalescing into a lushly harmonious ambience that is somewhat reminiscent of early Curve crossed with the ‘80s electro/rock stylings of Julien-K. The same can be said of the aforementioned “Cocaine,” which is also notable for its darkly sensual tone as the lyrical allusions to autoerotic asphyxiation definitely keep with KANGA’s dancing with sexuality in her music and imagery, but without going so over-the-top as to be pornographic – just enthralling and a little bit frightening. Unfortunately, “Cocaine” and “Control” also have enough tonal similarities that despite their individual hooks, they almost bleed into each other to make it easy to lose track of where one song ends and the other begins. It’s really only on “Run” that the poppy synthwave elements blend perfectly with her grittier industrial sound, making it perhaps the best song to bridge this EP with the previous album. Oh sure, she still has a little bit of mixing assistance from 3TEETH’s Xavier Swafford and mastering by Anthony “Fu” Valcic and Dave “Rave” Ogilvie… but who wouldn’t wish to have their skills and ears help to bring out the best in one’s work? Ultimately, this is KANGA proving her mettle once again and on her own terms with songs that are confrontational yet intimate, inviting the audience into her mindset and treating them as participants rather than recipients. Put simply, the Eternal Daughter EP is a good follow-up to KANGA and a promising sign of better things to come.
Track list:

  1. Intro
  2. Burn
  3. Daughter
  4. Run
  5. Cocaine
  6. Control

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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