Review: Akatombo – Sometime, Never

Akatombo - Sometime, NeverI sink into the sewer networks that exist beneath my feet, far below the concrete. The eternal lack of light lays waste to all perception of time passing, leaving the rhythms of techno and industry to repeat indefinitely, obliviously. The air vibrates with the low hum of nearby electrical cables, while any staccato noises – probing rimshots, dripping water – meet the reverb of moist brick. At times, Sometime, Never feels like a repository for anything that falls out of the foreground of life; a twilit, subterranean landfill for forgotten memories and the intentionally suppressed, forced to loop itself within a void of samsaric inconsequence.

Ultimately, it is Paul Thomsen Kirk’s handling of rhythm that makes me feel this way. His beats rattle me into numbness. “Cold Call” erects palm-muted guitars (delightfully reminiscent of Godflesh) either side of a ritual that centres on pummelling cans of nuclear waste. “Mission Creep” sounds like drum and bass flattened into a steel girder, suddenly punctuative and direct. Occasionally, the tide lures in fragments of disembodied memory and culture – placid loops of birdsong, scraps of string quartet, audio clips of patronising linguistic learning exercises – that float into my hands like shipwreck debris, ripped away from their source context and rendered either meaningless or, at best, vaguely implicative. And besides; even if they did make sense to me, what use can they be while I’m banished to Akatombo’s throbbing, lightless electro-purgatory?