Killer with a capital 'K'

  • Capitol K - Island Row

    Reviewed by Sandy Schmidt (The Stanford Daily)

    Capitol K - Island Row

    One thing Kristian Craig Robinson’s second version of “Island Row” does not

    lack is creativity. Sure, perhaps his critics are right, and the songs are a little disorganized, even disjointed at times; but it is this stop-and-go feeling that gives his songs their original flavor. By the end of this month, the CD by Robinson, a.k.a. Capitol k, will at last be released in the United States. Until now it was available only in Europe, where its first version had already been introduced in 2000 by a different record company (Planet Mu).

    Since then, K remixed two songs, took two out (including the cover of Prince’s “Dance On”) and added two others (“Soundwaves” and “Darrussalam”), in an attempt to make the CD more focused and less incoherent. The second version was immediately successful in Europe, where the track “Pillow” has already been lifted off the album as a single. K chose an almost pop-like tone, a child-like voice and nursery-rhyme lyrics for this love song.

    Each of K’s tracks attempts to evoke a different emotion and describe a different experience. He accomplishes this by interweaving multiple layers, themes and topics into each song. K’s source of inspiration is his own life — his childhood memories as well as his daily activities. In the song “City,” K paints a musical picture of his hometown London — including its road noise, pollution and social responsibilities. In contrast “Darussalam” (Malay for “abode of peace”) reveals the sounds of Borneo, where K spent part of his life growing up. K recorded the nature sounds on this track himself on a scientific platform in the middle of the rainforest.

    Even though there are many juxtapositions in K’s music and themes, everything about it remains authentic. Life does not consist of only one mood, experience or thought, and K builds a credible collage of sound in order to expose the listener to these dichotomies of life. The almost diary-like, short story tone accompanied by the sound’s naturality and rawness makes his CD so credible. K’s music is not the typical boring hybrid between rock and electronica that has become so popular these past years. Rather his CD is a stylish kaleidoscope of sounds, drawn from a wide range of influences.

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