Despite having only recently dropped their first full-length album, Koan Sound return to inject your speakers with ample amounts of wobbly bass this September with Intervals Above, their latest EP. This five-track wonder releases as the duo begin their tour with Haywyre that spans across the UK and the US this autumn.
Polychrome took the pair’s sound towards a dreamier, almost Tipper-esque vibe, whilst still retaining the unique elements that has seperated Koan Sound‘s music from the crowd. Intervals Above doesn’t diverge from all of those elements, but channels more of the duo’s love for drum’n’bass and breakcore. Expect to hear fatter, more consuming bass holding the songs together, which will certainly be used live to get the crowds moving. With exceptional moments of blissful downtempo soundporn woven in between the fat bass layers, you can feel how they will intersperse their set with ups and downs, allowing those in attendance to soak in the soundscapes before driving them to throw shapes.
The opening track of Intervals Above is a perfect example of the above. The duo have an incredible knack for twisting bass and glitch sounds in your sonic peripheral; they use whomps and electronic effects that ebb and flow like a tide in the first minute, throwing your senses all over the shop when listening on headphones or big speakers. This serves as a perfect build-up to the massive bass chops that follow, complimented of course by the classically Koan glitch sounds – you can hear them across their portfolio – behind them. There is so much to hear in “Strident”, it is impossible to consume in under five sittings. Every ten seconds, Koan Sound introduce new elements to the track to keep your attention, and whilst you are focused on that one sound, they sneak in a new layer behind it that soon escalates and steals your aural gaze anew.
“Boundless”, the first single released from the EP, dives into the aforementioned breakcore and drum’n’bass influences of Koan, making it more remininscent of their Forgotten Myths and Dynasty EPs. They still encapsulate the dreamier elements from Polychrome, but the focus is on the excellent drum patterns and worbling bass. As you might expect from the cover of the record, there is some really great, subtle guitarwork which flows behind the rest of the music. It has a very SUN:MONX feel to it, with abundant psychedelic vibes. You also hear this guitarwork on the other songs, so be sure to keep your ears peeled for it!
The final two tracks on the album remind me more of the duo’s work with Asa on their joint EP Sancutary. These songs fill the listener with endless amounts of positive energy thanks to the subtle drum’n’bass that makes you move like water flowing downstream. The gradual build-up in “Vivid” channels Tipper with warped glitches sounding like raindrops, played off against psychedelic bass and pulsating layers of futuristic synthisizers. After three minutes or so, the drum’n’bass really starts to build up, and the Blade Runner-style synths start to build in depth. The song doesn’t have a massive climax, it rather just morphs from one beautiful state to the other, leaving the listener fulfilled as the synths lead it to a close.
Intervals Above is yet another brilliant record from a pair who only seem to better themselves with each release. The details in each track are astounding, and as you begin to unravel the layers woven into this EP, you’ll begin to enjoy it even more. It’s a great release to actively engage with, but you can certainly have it on in the background as well, guiding you through work or your day to day. Live, this record will surely be incredible, so make sure to catch Koan Sound on their upcoming tour – see the dates here.