CD, Axess Code, 2005
Christopher Kah’s vision in “A Wonderful DarkWorld” is indeed wonderfully realized. Its world-building palette includes shades ranging from upbeat electro to moody downtempo and hard techno. Kah’s hypnotizing basslines compliment a sharply crafted high end, in turn tightened up and tripped out with an emphasis on rich, full atmospheres and vocoder stylizations. Many tracks on “DarkWorld” employ accessible EBM-oriented melodies, executed through engaging and haunting harmonies.
“Disconnect Me” and “Camille Ist Tot” are fine examples of just how impressive Kah’s dark electro can get, with tireless drum loops driving beautifully imaginative melancholia. In contrast are the more minimal echoes and cold, clinical vocals of “Synapse,” or the stately but menacing “Intumeti K.” The latter opens with an extended build that exercises its gravitational pull well before the first beat is dropped, evolving further with mesmerizing synth lines layered over subtle, growling drones.
“DarkWorld” touches on rhythmic noise and the harsher side of techno in “Alpha Gguns,” a collaboration with Franck Wolf (who later provides a vibrant, stompy remix of “Search and Destroy”), but in the process throws a rather discordant element into an otherwise nicely fluid album. Despite this, the track would be ideal pressed to white label and tossed on the decks at the neighborhood illegal warehouse rave. “Sextronic Bacteries” is another collaboration (this time with Communication Zero) geared toward powernoise fans and laced with heavy industrial textures.
In summary, “A Wonderful DarkWorld” is a realm throughout which Christopher Kah has created a personal underground characterized by innovative, dark electronic hybridization.
— Dutton Hauhart