Kontravoid‘s air of mystique stays resolute, as he offers another round of spectacular synth drenched darkwave with Detachment.

Release date: March 1, 2024 | Artoffact Records | Instagram | Bandcamp 

Cameron Findlay AKA Kontravoid has always been a bit of a chameleon in his respective subgenre. With his patented white mask, Kontravoid has presented dark and dirty club bangers, introspective space wandering downtempo reflections, and weary late night anthems to fuel whatever debauchery you find yourself in (or running away from). Each release captures an approachable, dark-tinged, electronic driven front that’s always catchy, always engaging, and intoxicating. Somewhere between Assemblage 23 and the techno darling Filmmaker, Detachment increases a pressure that will get anyone’s blood flowing. The early 90s dust that sprinkles over everything allows it to fit on skate rink or dangerous dance club playlists.

On “Losing Game” Kontravoid forgoes vocal duties, alleviating his deep baritone chant, and replacing it with the sparkling Tiffany-esque delivery of Nuovo Testamento’s Chelsey Crowley. The track is midnight bubblegum, and pulls young heart strings that shimmers with strobe light optimism. Findlay’s approach to the keys delivers the exact setting that’s needed to set Chelsey up for success, and everything feels dangerous but light.

Immediately following is an industrial splatterfest of hazy fuzz, and rusty edged aggression on “Reckoning”. Forgoing his vocals again, Kontravoid provides a deep and mechanical delivery of closed fists that throws whatever optimistic feelings the previous track provided, and exchanges them with closed fists, and body movement inducing heaviness that demands action. Both of these tracks do a wonderful balancing act of highlighting how Kontravoid moves. Everything feels absolutely enticing, but from two opposite ends of a specific spectrum. For the folks that spend most of their listening currency on darkwave, all of this will feel fresh, and engaging in a way that begs for multiple listens.

“Death Shot” exhibits Findlay’s tried and true formula of esoteric anthem as the muddled vocals don’t lend the listener any favors in understanding outside of the loud ‘shot’ that blasts through the haziness. The wave of energy doesn’t slow getting into the back end of “Detachment”. “Sin Walker” is designed for dance floor intoxication, and “How It Ends” keeps the tempo at breakneck pace that feels like the equivalent to being overwhelmed with one’s own anxious racing thoughts.

The synths throughout remain heavy and drenched. Kontravoid has always done a wonderful job of building such a dense soundscape in each track that rivals the dark synthwave of both Perturbator and Carpenter Brut. All three acts do a wonderful job in delivering an overwhelming amount of density that doesn’t really feel replicable when comparing it to anything other than metal, albeit sonically worlds apart.

There is one slower, more easy track amongst the ten. “In Reverse” gives reprieve in exchanging the heavy fisted synth pummeling, and allows for more breezy listening. The synths feel like droplets in a pond, and although the track is really just an interlude, the break sets up the last two tracks well.

The finale and eponymous track feels warranted, and earned, as all the pieces come together. “Detachment” allows Findlay to go full on ballad in the only Kontravoid way it is. It’s equal parts relief, introspection, despair, and hope, with a connect-the-dots melody that’s tethered by percussion that stays sparse, but pronounced.

In comparison to the rest of his discography, Findlay has polished out what works, and pursued ideas that have benefited his vision. The ten tracks that make up Detachment are everything we could expect from Kontravoid, and shows growth and further development into realms he’s exploring. It’s a pressured thrillride, and catharsis that gives just enough pop melodic bliss for all the night creatures out there.



"I'm the Osiris of this shit" -Russel Tyrone Jones

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