ALBUM: Bone Music
LABEL: Tympanik Audio
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Having already made a name for himself both as a DJ and a prolific remix artist for such power noise acts as Iszoloscope and Converter, Canadian producer Jairus Khan presents his own musical project with an album that's heavier on texture than beats. Few of the tracks on this album are aimed directly at the dance floor. The main exception, "Number Nine," is actually something of a disappointment; while it's easy to understand the appeal of cult television series "The Prisoner" to the industrial scene, it's been sampled so many times it just feels stale now. Much better is "No Exit," which layers samples from film-noir classic The Maltese Falcon over brooding industrial breakbeats. What really sets apart Khan's work from most of his contemporaries in the dark electronic scene is a fondness for more traditional sound sources. While there's no shortage of electronic ambience and computer-generated percussive sounds, there's also plenty of mostly unadorned rock and classical instrumentation. "Waiting for Gira" backs its rumbling percussion with the heavy throb of low-end bass guitar, for example, and "Friends of Father" sees what sounds like old-school guitar distortion and clattering snare drum emerging from a fuzzy wash of static. This more organic sound translates especially well to Khan's use of rhythm. Often, his beats sound less like programmed sequences than tribal percussive ensembles, especially on the ominous "International Dark Skies," which evokes imagery of some midnight voodoo conjuration, and title track "Bone Music," which despite the morbid imagery of its title is actually possessed of a sense of fun not unlike Einsturzende Neubauten's mellower instrumental experiments. Filling this album out are a series of remixes, with Synapscape's crunchier version of "Number Nine" taking things in a more confrontational direction, as well as one of Khan's own remixes for Urusai's "Learned Helplessness," which hovers on the line between downtempo industrial and abstract sound collage. A solid debut, Bone Music fulfills the promise hinted at by Ad-ver-sary's remix work and many live appearances.
Visit Khan online at www.ad-ver-sary.com.
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