Review: Kink Gong – Voices

Where am I? An unnamed island thousands of miles off the coast of Asia perhaps; close enough to the mainland so that the echoes of sonic tradition lap up gently at the shores, but disconnected to the point that these influences are dragged into an independent path of development; mashed into a new form of language, and nurtured into a flame that refuses any further foreign input. The result? Voices that quiver like rattlesnake tails, freezing on harmonies that refute 12-tone symmetry, flecked with a strange auto-tune snap, as though this introverted, self-generative influence has birthed an alien logic, oblivious to the globalised behaviour consensus that leaks into culture elsewhere.

The process behind their creation appears to be simple but beautifully effective. Field recordings from China, Vietnam and Laos have been funnelled into a delicate audio processing; instruments become flecked with a lagging delay that makes the tumble of strings sound as though it’s bubbling up through water, while voices dance and wobble as though captured in jelly casts. Dissociative places and ceremonies are overlain to form new events, occurring in the slither of pseudo-time that arises in the merge of conflicting chronology. Metronomic drum thuds send chimes into shudders of excitement, which in turn dominoes into the voices that babble and whine; suddenly, a strange fuzz of feedback starts to curl up in the centre, as though the ritual has snake-charmed an alien matter into being. Absolutely magic stuff.