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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Kodax Strophes/Martyn Bates - It Doesn't Matter Where It's Solstice When You're [Klanggalerie - 2020]

It Doesn't Matter Where It's Solstice When You're In The Room is a wonderfully heady ‘n’ often a fairly dissonating blend of ambience, psychedelic electronica, field recordings, and general experimental texturing. The release comes in the form of an eight-track CD on the always worthy Klanggalerie.
 

The CD is presented in a glossy six-panel digipak- this features a selection of blurred light pictures, texts, and inversed pictures- all nicely adding to the mystery of the whole thing.
 
Behind Kodax Strophes is UK experimental sound maker Martyn Bates,  who's been active since the early ’80s connected to projects such as Eyeless In Gaza, The Hungry I, and Twelve Thousand Days.  The album to hand is seemingly Kodax Strophes first album, though the origins of the project go back to the late 70’s- with this album featuring material created in 2020.
 
The eight-track runs at spot on the forty-five minutes mark- with each track hitting between the four and six minutes mark.  The album kicks off with the albums title track- and we’re straight into disorientation, as we find a densely layered blend of electro tribal beats, droning and ringing electronics, bird twittering, and buzzing retro synth scaping. Next, we come to the chiming, ringing, and pitch shifting soundscapes of “ Triple Echo” with the tracks slurred out and wonky tones been underfed by subtle touches of dragged-out ethnic percussion and possible warped sea field recordings.
 
Later on we come to “Skulls” with its blend of manic ‘n’ blunt juddering beats, distant folky sing-song male vocals, and rising swirls of swooping siren tones. There the rather wonderfully titled “Dream Galaxies Of Nebulous Opacity” with its mixture of hazed and blurred new-age harmonics, warbling horn haze, and stumbling beats. With the album been topped off with “You Don’t Own Me” which finds plodding child-like retro synth tones moving with a haze of bird song, distant shifting tones, storm sound effects, and slow bouncing ‘n’ lo-fi popping beats- with haunting and hazed rising vocals appearing in the last half, giving out almost melted and hazed waving operatic shoegaze feel. 
 
All in all, It Doesn't Matter Where It's Solstice When You're In The Room is a wonderfully woozy and warped album, which purveys such an appealing air of hazed surrealism.  This release appeared at the tail end of 2020, and I can certainly say if I’d heard it then, it would have made my best of the year list. So a great album, that is a must buy for those who enjoyed lazed and tripped-out sonics.  Head here to buy direct

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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