Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Konstruktivists - Destiny Drive (2015)

To continue my ongoing and impartiality-free series of reviews of work by bands of which I was once a member, and books from the same people who publish my own shit, here's Konstruktivists once again. I may no longer spend my evenings stood next to Glenn whilst playing an accordion, but I was invited to contribute cover artwork to this one, alongside a couple of other people, the idea being that whichever submission worked best would be chosen. I was actually a little peeved when they rejected my crayon drawing of Glenn chuckling away in a tree, trousers down as he poops out a log onto the head of a pissed-off looking Boyd Rice dressed as Adolf Hitler, but never mind.

Anyway, aside from a collection of early tapes released as a double album a couple of years back, this is Konstruktivists' first proper vinyl album since Glennascaul way back whenever that was, and either Glenn and Mark have really upped their game of late, or Konstruktivists just make a lot more sense pressed onto a big fat slab of hard - and blood red, I couldn't help but notice - wax, because this is probably the best thing they've done since Psykho Genetika; in fact it may be the best thing Glenn has done, full-stop. In my view, Glenn's music tends to be at its finest when he's working with people who aren't busily trying to sound like someone else, persons tagging along for the sheer thrill of atmospheric noise and seeing what the hell will happen next, and whose criteria for success reaches a bit further than how closely the end result resembles fucking Borghesia.

Cough. Cough.

Anyway, to get to the point, Mark Crumby clearly fits this sonic bill, and so everyone involved brings the best out of everyone else. Like the greatest of Konstruktivists' music, Destiny Drive has a strong element of soundtrack, a certain dramatic tension going beyond the bog standard efforts of just wacking the decay setting of the reverb up to five minutes and thus leaving more free time in which to sift through the usual Blade Runner samples like every other fucker and his milkman. This is something more theatrical, more European and less industrial by the usual terms, and Glenn is afforded full reign to vent his love of characters darkly drawn within the grooves - much more akin to the legacy of Yello, Tuxedo Moon, or even the Residents than you might have suspected. Destiny Drive is closer to a performance than any conventional soundscape, I suppose fulfilling the promise of tracks such as Housewife's Choice - music as narrative, more than just a beat and a feeling. I know I'm biased, but I really never anticipated this record being anything like this good.

Annoyingly, the cover artwork is also fantastic, and I can see why it was picked over the thing I came up with; so darn, but also yay!

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