Review: Gurun Gurun – Kon B

Gurun Gurun - Kon BThere are numerous moments during Kon B that sound like a ship’s cargo hold tilting severely back and forth. Instruments slide from one end of the space to the other, groaning and scraping against the floor, contents rattling against the inside of gigantic wooden crates, slamming against the side walls. Gurun Gurun are not in control. They are subsumed by a sudden, urgent necessity to improvise, their motor functions hacked by an external turbulence, turning states of song-based equilibrium into a see-saw of panic and dissonance: guitars bumping into violin glissando to the tune of percussive squeaks and knocks.

When the ship is level (and it rarely is), Gurun Gurun’s songs are beautiful. Potentially romantic. Acoustic guitars waft beneath singing as delicate as a bedtime whisper, tranquil and adoring. Otherwise the album is forever pimpled with threat – percussion quivers like the pre-emptive equivalent of a glass of lemonade shuddering under invasive vibration. More often than not the disturbance only escalates (after all, mass hysteria is a deeply contagious thing), as woodwind and dulcimers respond to the nascent flames of distress. Yet the serenity of the singing never buckles under the mounting pressure. Deep breaths. Pretend it isn’t happening. Amongst a chaos that rises and whirls – summertime harmonies cracked into the atonal howls of winter – the voices remain calm: a solitary emblem of sanity and musicality as Kon B falls mercy to the destruction of ghosts.