Zane Kanevsky - Kb [No Rent Records - 2019]It’s a little tricky to write a review on a album, when information on the artists', is extremely sparse. However, Zane Kanevsky is an American experimental musician who is a member of the band named Banned Books. Zane also releases solo albums. There are only two releases in his solo discography. The first one is a split album with American musician Kyle Flanagan, titled Move Your Head From Side To Side, which was released as a tape in 2018. The second release is an tape release titled Kb, released in 2019 by the American label No Rent Records. This final release is what I’m reviewing today.
The album cover is a tape J-card turn, made in a minimal black and white style. On the front cover, on a white background, in the upper right corner is a photo of a male face. Most likely, this is a portrait of Zane Kanevsky himself. Below the photo is the album title: Zane Kanevsky - "kb", made in an ordinary font. On the left side of the front cover, there are two dozen horizontal lines, one below the other and consisting of black dots. On the side of the J-card, on a white background, the album name and the artist’s name are duplicated, as well as the label’s logo and release catalog number. The right side of the J-card is made in black. It contains the logo and address of the label's website, as well as the inscription "mastered by Matt Dermond". Perhaps this cover has some secret meaning or a message known only to Kanesky. But, having listened to the album, I came to the conclusion that any picture could have been the albums cover.
I guess you most likely to call this mini album/ EP, as it consists of two tracks, each of which lasts 6 minutes. Accordingly, the total duration of the album is 12 minutes. Each track occupies one side of the tape.
As an introductory to the album, the label uses an eerie and dramatic autobiographical story written by Kyle Flanagan, whom Zane Kanevsky shared his debut split album with. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from the musical part of the album, considering this story and the cover. But, in any case, the musical part was unexpected. At its core, this is minimalistic noise with elements of musique concrete and drone. I don’t know what specific equipment Zane Kanevsky used to record the tracks, but it seemed to me that they were made using several analog modular synthesizers, with reverb processing and stereo-delay. There are characteristic looping sounds, clicks, whistles, drones and so on. Such sound experiments can be heard from the classics of experimental music, such as, for example, Luigi Russolo or Luc Ferrari, as well as from Russian experimental musician Edward Srapionov. With the seeming randomness of sound, both tracks have a fairly clear compositional structure and are divided into several parts that are different in sound. In one track we can hear chaotic noise, then turning into a minimalistic drone or some kind of ambient or musique concrete.
I listened to the album several times. It was easy because of the short duration. When I first played it, I was a little surprised and upset. It seemed to me that this is just a noise audio joke. However, after several more plays, my opinion changed. I began to immerse myself in this strange analog sound, and thoughts of the classics of the experimental music genre came to me. I began to enjoy this strange album more and more. It was not as simple as it seems at first glance. I do not think that kb is a masterpiece. However, this album is not something ordinary. This is a case when the book does not need to be judged by the cover. I hope that Zane Kanevsky will focus his attention on new solo work, as I'm sure that I will check out his new releases.Sergey Pakhomov