(New Album Review) Gurun Gurun- Kon B

Gurun Gurun is a Czech group that has been deeply influenced by the extremely delicate, airy style of electro-acoustic music of Japanese artists like Minamo and Sawako. One person on a laptop, another gently caressing the string of a guitar, another hounding a feather with a condenser mic…you surely get the idea– this is an aesthetic that was pioneered in Japan. And they have been opened to this school with welcoming arms– Home Normal, the label on which their new album Kon B was released early in May, is in fact based in Tokyo. On Kon B, the quartet of Federsel, Jara Tarnovski, Ondrej Jezek, and Tomas Knoflicek are joined, in addition to some collaborators closer to their neck of the woods, by Japanese vocalists Cokiyu, Cuushe, and Miko, who wrote lyrics in Japanese for their features. The result is beautifully chaotic but not muddled.

Compositionally, the release is challenging– the pieces seem to swing rapidly from dissonance to consonance, from what sounds to be carefully planned and melodic to what sounds to be free improvisation. Gurun Gurun have crafted an album of mysterious electro-acoustic expedition, with the voices of their trans-cultural collaborators occasionally acting just as other textures in the atmosphere, and other times as the guides that define the musical direction of a section or entirety of a piece. Recommended.

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