kj - Spells

Published: October 12, 2017
kj - Spells

As originally seen on Exclaim.ca.

With deceptively unassuming, methodical precision, kj conjures delicate, beautifully hazy ambient soundscapes awash in memorable minutiae for his debut album, Spells.
 
It takes an instinctive musicality and sophisticated sense of restraint to create pieces that can drift by so unobtrusively yet still leave stubborn earworms in their wake and reward attentive listeners with finely etched labyrinths of sonic detail to get lost in.
 
There's a cinematic quality to the simple but immediately distinct repetitive refrains in the album's strongest pieces. Title track "Spells" and "Angel" are two of the best examples of this despite being wildly different in the tone each evokes. Penultimate track "Lozo" is also a standout, though it breaks the album's theretofore-comforting vibe with some Lynchian rot beneath its pristine surface.
 
A mature and sonically varied first effort, Spells introduces a talent worth investigating if you like your minimalist drone music on the tuneful side.
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