• Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire

    Reviewed by Tim diGravina (all music guide)

    <b> Capitol K </b> - Sounds Of The Empire

    Sounds of the Empire sees Capitol K making tweaked-out electronic sound collages that bristle with as much ear-pleasing melody as they drip with innovation. Kristian Craig Robinson and Cliff Harris weave loads of ringing synth sounds with layers of more traditional instruments and sound effects toward a most moody atmosphere. Songs like "People" boom with heavy bass and crash and stutter via dark samples. Unlike knob-twisting peer Luke Vibert, who plays with samples and electronics in a similar yet lighter way, Capitol K never lets their samples get out of hand. Capitol K's samples add crazed depth to the songs, rather than acting as elements toward some catchy goal. The album attacks fiercely at times. "People" is again a good example; after four minutes of interesting dabbling, the duo deploy an armada of evil drum'n'bass madness. One of Capitol K's best traits is that they're not afraid of pop hooks. Many of their dark electronic contemporaries can't claim that characteristic in their music. "Lagoon" is so fragile and gentle in its acoustic foundation that it threatens to turn into a New Order song at any second. The vocals on "Janome Home" are a brilliant change of pace, as the song achieves the blissed-out state Leila was attempting with Courtesy of Choice. One imagines Tim Burgess singing to music by Bjork. "Jump off the Box" comes like a more subtle Orbital. The album works on many levels; songs sound warm and inviting while still having raging, ominous souls. Bubbling cacophony rarely sounds this compelling. Sounds of the Empire is a stunning, confident debut which is full of riveting, accessible electronic artistry.

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