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KiEw – Mental [Per]mutation

KiEw - Mental [Per]mutation

2CD, Out Of Line, 2010

KiEw are a rare case of relative success in the niche genre of electro-industrial music and are often often described as having bridged rhythmic noise, industrial and experimentalism, bringing it out of the underground and into the ‘dark alternative’ mainstream.
Similarly to their previous material, “Mental [Per]mutation” is an atypical release for Out Of Line, a label which is better known for playing it safe with accessible and highly danceable ‘dark’ music hits. It also follows the recurring theme of insects and insanity that is KiEw’s trademark and fans of the project will be in familiar territory with an album that easily lives up to previous offerings. New listeners may find “Mental [Per]mutation” an interesting journey of discovery if dissonance, abstraction and surrealism are their cup of tea – especially if it comes in the form of a seamless fusion of experimental noise ambiances and industrial rhythms with gabba influences and a Dadaistic approach, quite humorous and heavily reliant on sampling and collage.
Hinting of mass hallucination and D.T.’s, the opener pieces, “Montreal Permutation” and “Käferfrühstück”, prepare the listener for what is to come in the rest of the album. From then on it’s a frantic ride through musical renderings of choice bits from the DSM-IV and imaginary mental institution staff (as insane as the inmates), with a few breathers in between in the form of the “Retrograd” pieces. As if this wasn’t enough, KiEw brought quite a few friends from the noise underground for fun and games with them in this aural insane asylum – a host of remixers in a bonus disc and guest vocals by Ambassador21 and Dr. Debil on the main album add extra shards to the kaleidoscope that is “Mental [Per]mutation”. There really is quite a bit of variety to choose from in here from the paranoia of “Delusion” to the aurally-therapeutic “Melancholie”, through the ministrations of “Dr. Friendly”, vituperations of “Mister 29” and the obsessivness of the unashamedly gabba-infused “All I Need”. With this album, KiEw once more deliver a consistent interesting slab of aural entertainment – no more nor less than what one would expect from a project which has consistently proved its worth in the past.
Like mentioned above, there’s a companion remix disc, featuring the work of artists from the gabba and the rhythmic noise scenes from relatively known names like Lenny Dee and Shoraí to upstarts like Mono-Amine and other even more obscure artists. The overall result is, like the main disc, atypical of an Out Of Line; a good complement to what is already an interesting release but suffers from too many reworkings of the same track (“Mister 29”).


— Miguel de Sousa

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