Kippi Kaninus – “Temperaments” (2014)

I find myself getting more and more into electronic music these days, which is great, but it’s also a little intimidating since I don’t know anything about it or how to find bands I might like. So it’s always good to have friends who give you some recommendations, which is how I came home from Airwaves with the new release from the Icelandic experimental electronic collective Kippi Kaninus.

Holly and I weren’t sold on this one the first time through, and I understand why. There are some repetitive cycles of sound, and much of it is more “electronic” than “musical”. But I gave it a couple of more spins today and found myself coming away with a feeling that each of the five songs was a truly unique composition, with its own influences, structure, and style, which is something I can’t always say with electronic music. “Klafi” is the closest thing I’ve heard to “country electronica,” with elements that sound like they would have been at home in the score to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but still with a heavy dose of electronica; “Formant” had more of a slight jungle drum feel to it; while “Bellowing” reminded me more of Australian Aboriginal music. That’s not to say those were the overwhelming components of each of those songs – they weren’t. These are still electronic numbers. It’s more as if the composers had these ideas in the backs of their minds while they worked on their music… you catch a hint here… a whiff over there… an undercurrent of an idea upon which the rest of the work is overlaid.

I came away quite impressed with Temperaments once I gave it a chance. There are some interesting ideas at play, and even after three listens I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface – in fact what I got out of it changed from listen to listen. This one is going to require more spins to truly get a feel for its depth, and I think I’m up to the challenge.

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