Review: KP Transmission – Beatrice


It is alleged that, in reality, Dante met Beatrice only twice: once at the age of nine and again when they were both in their late teens. The rest of their encounters took place within his poems and dreams, where these fleeting interactions became extrapolated by the forces of romantic admiration and yearning. The Beatrice within Dante’s writings is almost all myth, retaining a mere trace of the woman within the swirl of conjecture and fantasy; this is a body that ripples at the edges, defined by the vague outstretching of love and language. The tracks on Beatrice similarly resist the fixity of melody, instead pulling on textures that ripple like shadow-play by firelight, resembling shapes but never becoming them. Synthesisers and samples wander into the frame like hostile strangers, haggard and lost, enlivening a sense that absolutely anything could appear from the darkness. And thus, as with the Beatrice of Dante’s obsessions, the album is experienced in its potential sensations with the same potency as the sounds that KP Transmission permits to manifest.

Take away the percussion here and Beatrice evokes the cavernous ambience and occult conjurations of dark ambient (as proven by the slip toward beatlessness on “Para Medit”, which feels like a ballet for twenty intersecting lighthouse beams). Yet by placing these atmospheres upon the fractured frameworks of dance music – breakbeat, dub reggae, trip hop – these spaces are imbued with nervous urgency. Instead of merely dwelling within the dark, KP Transmission seems to be searching for something, stumbling over the rubble to chase the last shimmer that flashed upon the far wall. Even when facing a particularly unsettling tableau of muffled voices and insect-scuttling, the pulse acts as an irresistible call to press on. Much like the yearning that drives Dante’s increasingly refracted projections of courtly love, each beat pulls Beatrice further into hallucinatory ephemera.