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Kinski | Be Gentle With The Warm Turtle (Sur La Plage)
Originally called Klauskinski (after the infamously volatile German actor), Kinski are similarly unpredictable. They stride a balance between lucid drones, space rock and surging Sabbath-esque guitar squall without tipping the scales either way. Rather like the intermittent passages of Mogwai (but more cerebral than mere replicas), interspersed with the Japanese psychedelia of Fushitsusha and High Rise et al. Guitarist Chris Martin (no, not that one) actively respects such acclaimed contemporaries â?? Kinski previously toured with Mainliner and shared the bill with Acid Mothers Temple in Japan late last year. There's no doubting Kinski's singularity, but obvious influences proliferate â?? early Verve and Yo La Tengo combine to brandish Sonic Youth's art rock (in tribute, one of the tracks is even entitled Daydream Intonation, even though it bears little resemblance to SY. Go figure). There's no middle ground with this schism â?? just startling changes in pace and the usual quiet/loud polarities. Matthew Reid Schwartz's guitars and keyboard sounds inject a textural overhaul, levering in more space for experimentation, improv and more than the occasional blast of white noise. The drummer beats his kit with iron fists. Riffage swells like a hurricane, ploughing through your head like a car crash. These are surly, inexorable dirges, equally purifying, life-affirming and apocalyptic. Moments of aural bliss ensue, breaking up the onslaught. Senses reel and the room spins, like one of those automatic hangovers you get after a great night out. It's little wonder I've got a headache. Klaus Kinski himself was mentally unstable, and at one point was committed to an asylum. Ranting incessantly, he'd frequently lock himself in the bathroom and smash everything in sight, apparently reducing the porcelain to powder. Kinski are his psychotic legacy.
Velimir Pavle Ilic
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002