Kandodo3 - K3 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Kandodo3 - K3

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2019-06-21
Kandodo3 - K3
Kandodo3 - K3

Kandodo3 are Wayne Maskell, Hugo Morgan and Simon Price from The Heads. K3 was recorded over the last three years on Price’s 4-track. I last reviewed them when they did an album with John McBain (Lost Chants/Last Chance - 10/10) and McBain appears on the 40 minute epic that takes up the whole second record of this splendid double-vinyl release.

A cute little synth line introduces King Vulture. Morgan joins in on bass followed by some Spacemen 3 keyboards and Robert Fripp-like guitar from Price before Maskell lays down a steady beat. The track has a lovely feel and there are acres of space for little synth and guitar lines to come in and out. Price steps on the Wah-wah, but the track remains very sedate and spacey, like Spacemen 3 in a vast desert. Lapwinger is a little noisier but is just a palate-cleanser, full of tremolo and phase, before the next great voyage. Everything Green’s Gone again starts quietly with tinkling keyboards, an exploratory bass-line and Price’s sparse chords. Huge swirling clouds of sound roll in whilst a child-like tune is played on a xylophone, bringing to mind early Current 93 and that combination of childhood and danger. After four minutes of this, they start to get moving, with Price’s guitar sounding like a machine. They still play like they have all the time in the world but the sound becomes fuller and fuller and the playing more intense, and always underpinned by the xylophone sound. It feels like a mixture of a jam and some subtle fleshing out. It also makes me realise how much of the Lost Chants/Last Chance album was down to the sound of these three guys just playing in a room. Sometimes they remind me of the pre-Dark Side Of The Moon Pink Floyd – space with both a large and small S. The xylophone continues on Holy Debut, as do the sustained Fripp lines. The rhythm is kept very clean and simple here and the sound is more like the Berlin School end of Kosmische music. The sustained guitar lines continue over on to The Gaping Maw (great title), but the sound is a bit fuller this time with a few layers of guitar lying on top of Morgan’s bass. And it grows and grows until they slowly drop out after six minutes. The last track on record one is Lounge Core. It’s a relatively short track with the xylophone coming out again and some Sonic Boom keyboards shimmering in the distance. This leaves the record-long odyssey that is High On Planes/Drifter, where John McBain joins the lads in creating something vast out of the same sounds and textures that appear on the first album. It is an exercise in contrasts – it’s spacey, but also dense; simple, but layered. Storm clouds gather over the top of programmed hi-hats before Maskell starts rolling around his toms. It’s like the early albums by Tangerine Dream, that combination of noise and ambience. Slowly the harsher sounds fade away leaving a long period of stillness, out of which the apparently-tireless Maskell builds the drums up again. The intensity ebbs and flows, but is particularly strong towards the end when it’s all hands on deck before the three minutes of calm recovery at the end.

There are shades of Tangerine Dream, Harmonia, Pink Floyd and the Spacemen 3 on this huge album. But it is also two records of Price, Morgan and Maskell sounding like Kandodo3. Three chaps that know themselves and their instruments inside out and also know the territory that they inhabit. As always, it’s a flipping pleasure. A lovely walk across a desert that stretches between Bristol and Rugby, in the company of Carlos Castaneda.

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