On Island Row, Capitol K (aka Kristian Craig Robinson) isn't only inspired by rock, punk, and experimental music; he's enamored by the sounds and sights of the city of London and the rural landscape of locales such as rain forests and beaches. Those influences meld succinctly on his second record, named after his studio. And although he uses little more than a sampler, guitar, mixer, and delay box, the studio trickery and song craftsmanship are imaginative. "Pillow," a pop song disguised in electronic wizardry, is gentle yet robotic, while the tempo periodically breaks into slow motion. On the other end is "Darussalam," a calm track with spoken word that samples sounds from a rain forest. Further in, he establishes his more experimental work using bells, static, and falsetto vocals. Just like his disparate inspirations, Robinson fuses organic and synthetic elements that live harmoniously in the same world.
Island Row Review
by Kenyon Hopkin