"And now for something completely different," as Monty Python used to say. K-Space are quite different from any other free improvising trio, and Going Up marks a significant sidestep from their debut release, Bear Bones. The seven tracks on this album are collages of various performances, edited and overlaid to produce a dense experience in out-of-body listening. The album's packaging is mute on the subject, letting the listener sort it all out for him or herself, but the extended sleeve notes on drummer Ken Hyder's website reveal some details. The music is taken from several recordings, some dating back to Hyder and Tim Hodgkinson's first trip to Siberia in 1990. The assemblage is strongly reminiscent of Faust's Patchwork-type releases, in particular in the multiple layers of percussion tracks. As a whole, the music does not invite a close-up analysis of its parts; instead, it encourages you to succumb to the hypnotic clashing of unsynchronized drumming. Add Hodgkinson's wails on the lap steel guitar or saxophone and Gendos Chamzyryn's shamanic vocal drones and incantations, and you get one serious soundtrack for the experimental ritual of your choice. The Krautrock vibe is very strong, more so than on Bear Bones, and especially in "Yellow Canal" and "Black Sky" (the latter also features treated vocals). Psychedelic shamanism or the strangest Krautrock you ever heard? Both, actually, and a lot more. Going Up is the kind of album that forces you to retune your ears, to listen differently -- even if you have heard the trio's first album. Definitely one of the oddest, most rewarding listens of 2006, and highly recommended to adventurous souls.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture