CD, Àsino Elettronico, 2009
“Transitional” is Koneyn’s debut solo release for Serbian label Àsino Elettronico and follows two self-released EPs – “Stormfields” and “Enclosed” – both issued during 2008. Released digitally and also as a limited pre-order edition in nicely produced handmade packaging, “Transitional” consists of five fairly short tracks covering a 20-minute duration.
Late in 2009, when the otherwise anonymous Koneyn started to work on this release, he struggled for inspiration, eventually turning to architecture as a means of offering some outside influence on his creative direction. Slowly, “Transitional” started to take shape. During its recording, however, a number of positive experiences in the life of its creator resulted in a subtle change of mood as it progressed, and probably also provided it with its title. Often constructed around a core of deep bassy tones, classic synth melodies and a gentle ambient backdrop, “Transitional” occasionally also incorporates field recordings to enhance its presence.
“The City Has No End” provides a cinematic yet anxious opening track full of dark, creeping texture, edgy bass tones and agitated percussive elements. Following that, “Subtransit” continues the theme but increases the pace with – perhaps appropriately given its title – train-like rhythms to add to the anxiety levels and heart-pumping atmosphere. More harrowing and atmospheric is “L’Étranger”, with its low drone-like hum and the sounds of people going about their lives with drifting synth tones providing an ominous air of tension throughout. It is at this point that the mood changes with “Silent Street”, having a somewhat lighter tone utilising classic synth melodies; most of the tension and the air of foreboding seen in the first few tracks dissipates, replaced with a sense of relieved calm and even joy. This continues into the final track, “7 Hours”, which is entirely more rhythmic and distinctly retro influenced. Positively energetic in mood, the album ends with in an upbeat manner, the darker tones at its start now a distant memory.
The darker side of Koneyn’s music is precise, spacious and carefully conceived; everything has its place and is clear and defined with a purpose. As the mood lightens it becomes rhythmic, brighter and more melodic as the pace also increases. Although the album ends in a very different style to its start, “Transitional” flows well, the first three tracks in particular almost forming a suite of related music.
– Paul Lloyd