Paul Kidney Experience : Radio Transmissions
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Paul Kidney Experience : Radio Transmissions

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In the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three goats have to cross a bridge in order to grow fat on the green fields beyond.

In the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three goats have to cross a bridge in order to grow fat on the green fields beyond. Unfortunately, a ferocious troll lives under the bridge and he’ll eat anyone who passes. Now, imagine you’re one of the goats and the troll has his own band – called the Paul Kidney Experience. There’s gonna be some carnage; but then again, no pain, no gain.

Dustberries was recorded at 3CR for the Let Ya Freak Flag Fly program. It’s a 24 minute drone-scape featuring pained, throaty vocals, lots of guitar feedback iced with a squeaky panpipe texture (but really, who can be sure what it is?). Drum-stick tapping gives way to more involved percussion as Paul growls gruffly into the void. The drone intensifies, fills out and the hint of a riff peeks out from the sonic density. There’s a lot happening and what sounds like the violin, doesn’t really sound like a violin. A cymbal crashes at around five minutes, jolting you out of a semi-conscious slumber, only to be drawn back in again as Paul growls and moans, as the drums bring a heavier beat to maintain the pace and guitar strings bend freely. Feedback hums and peaks, phasing in and out to create layers of drone. The end of the track softens out, bringing you back to earth with a gentle thud, some sweet harmonics and diminishing vocals.

Tardigrades , the shorter track at a mere (!) 22 minutes, begins with harmonics and undulating, wordless freak-scat singing accompanied by an alto sax. Together, delayed effects, ambient strings and animal-like voice extensions build a forest of sounds, textured with abstract representations of birds and other animals. Five minutes in, the troll returns and roars about the jungle, kicking the ground and throwing his weight around. The sax is sent into a frenzy, the drums escalate and the ambience transforms into a state of heightened alert. Then, when the vocals cease, everything gradually calms down again. The return of the voice a couple of minutes later prompts a general clambering for cover as the peace disintegrates. A free jazz turn takes place just past the half-way mark, after which the track continues to cycle between loose sax, whacky sampling and pure tectonic rupturing.

The Paul Kidney Experience are magical, engaging and sometimes overwhelming. They seem to threaten carnage, but it’s all well worth the risk.

Best track: Tardigrades

If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Gradual physical and epistemological transfiguration,

In A Word: Psychoactive

Label: Indie

DAVID PRESCOTT-STEED