Release Date: Aug 20, 2013
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Ending with a motorik finale titled "Swim into the Sun," for which Kandodo mastermind Simon Price paints the canvas with a cavalcade of distortion projected from his 1965 Magnatone Typhoon for 22 minutes, K2O blends noise rock and Krautrock into raunchy bliss. With his Thrill Jockey sophomore outing, the former guitarist/vocalist of the British group the Heads buries himself in long winding instrumental 2/4 rhythms, often based on singular drones. He wears the typical German influences of Can and Neu! very well, while occasionally letting his chugging overdriven Kyuss and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club stoner rock roots seep through.
Simon Price may have a specific destination in mind with k2o, but there’s no guessing it from the perpetually oscillating tides of six-string dissolution he engineers on his second album as kandodo. For all its ceaseless fluidity and movement, its teetering washes of melted Fender Mustang, there’s a palpably distinct anti-teleology to the album, a paradoxically purposeful denial of direction and culmination that somehow manages to graft itself with stress and gravity, despite its lightness of obvious breakthroughs and objectives. Each of the six gestations play out as their own endpoints, amassing, subsiding, and eddying without ever repudiating their own liquefied borders, and even if Price could occasionally be charged with the crime of hypnagogic navel-gazing, there’s still a pull and a drag to k2o that lends it a watery persuasiveness.
Kandodo’s self-titled album conjured wide, treeless plains, a large scale landscape given drama not by its features but by the expanse of space without them. k2o, coming a year later, is similarly vast, but this time oceanic. You can hear the waves, literally, on brief sound-sampling “Waves” and on lengthy, droning “Swim into the Sun.” You can sense the pitch and roll of currents on nearly all these tracks.