Rival Consoles - Overflow
June 28, 2022
Kevin begins with Ether, a slow-moving pad descends like a staircase from heaven. Mellow high notes intermingle creating an angelic concoction of sound. The sound is one of flowing ambience, but Kevin does integrate explicit sequences and melodies within, creating a style that is clear and far from washed out. All of a sudden a pearl like whistling begins to reverberate, giving rise to a lower bass note that integrates itself as the guideline for the collection of sound. Those bass tones hum with energy, giving credence and emotion to the rest of the mix. Another plume of high notes cascades from a waterfall of sound, nuzzling up closely to the listener almost causing a gentle distortion. And off the back of them, Kevin sends us plummeting down toward the base of the mix, we rise up slightly toward the very end. But we are nowhere near the euphoric high ground we started on. Another swiping bass pad brings us to the first tracks conclusion.
Place We’ve Been keeps us at a similar frequency level, reversed piano samples slide their way in as we faintly hear the start and end of played notes. It feels as though they are being stretched out in front of us, beaming up into the sky in a reversed ascension. The make up of the track has that beautifully rich texture, not unlike Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to Interstellar. The sonic experience is one of tenebrous movement, what may sound at some points like simple pads are actually complex, ever-shifting entities.
A shuddering wave of sound washes in as You Weren’t There starts. A timid, female voice begins to permeate the atmosphere. A whispered confession between two souls perfectly placed in the mix. It feels as though we exist in this very touching moment with them, as close to them as they are to each other, as emotive strings and pads swirl in the background. Swathes of emotion are sent toward the listener, Kevin’s austere musicianship conveying a deep and unspeakable longing.
Dreamwalking Away sends yawning organic strings singing through light rain. A focal point throughout the song, the descent of each played chord creaks with a mystic twilight-ness about it. Disappearing into the nether regions of the mix. A man begins to speak, uttering a deep love for his daughter, the echoes of his voice spreading out across a large expanse like ripples on a lake. He speaks of love from the perspective of a cold and stunted, possibly artificial entity, a clip from the oft-overlooked 3rd installation in The Matrix series. This is almost jarring, as Kevin’s music feels incredibly natural at points. But as the song plays out, the listener starts to hear the sad artificiality of the euphoria, like a beautiful humanoid slowly being revealed to have a body of wires and microchips.
A chime is carried over from the previous track into Between Us, supported by a 808 beat. The first of its kind on the album, further separating the artist from merely presenting an ambient style. A pad is chopped up, stuttering in the background as a melancholy piano sequence begins. The chiming continues, interjecting with beautiful melodies. In this track we hear the unrelenting force of the EP so far fit nicely into a emotive beat.
We end with a track that is just about longer than the whole of the EP so far. The titular Land of Dreams begins with chopped synth pads spraying out into a fairly unobscured landscape. Another sombre chiming melody leads us into a delayed, echoing rhythm. Kevin lets the sequence play out to his heart’s content. Its enchanting atmosphere and slowly fluctuating phaser gives the track a deeply hypnotic value. As we move into the midway point, more definitive instruments begin to swirl into the torrent of sound as the more epic parts of the track die away. Kevin continues to bring us back into the same loop, with instruments fading in and dying out over the course of anywhere up to 4 minutes. Unafraid of the final runtime of the song, this conclusion is a true deep dive into a refrain.
In Land of Dreams, Kevin cements a style of impactful ambient mixed with affectations of slushwave. A keen ear for more sorrowful melodies, the EP slowly moves from touching euphoric sound, to a more entrancing, vaporwave-infused style. Ending in a shining example of the artist’s precise and unashamed use of song runtime. The EP breathes a hugely palatable feeling of sadness and melancholia.
Download/purchase of cassette here: https://kevinkevinkevin.bandcamp.com/album/land-of-dreams