Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Kick Bong - The Secret Garden Review

Artist: Kick Bong

Album: The Secret Garden

Label: Cosmic Leaf Records

Release: 28th Jan 2013

The Secret Garden is Franck Jousselin’s 6th album and it is a genuine pleasure to review it.  As once again he creates outstanding melodic compositions with pinpoint accurate arrangements that draw you in immersing you completely within the sound.

The production on The Secret Garden is in a class of it's own with the attention to detail clearly evident in the intricate layering and placing of the various instruments and effects. Yet, each tune flows easily and effortlessly to create soundscapes that travel deep inside and envelop you completely. 

The album opens with the sparse echoing heartbeat of 'Just Let Go' which with it's gentle hang drum melody, New Order esque chorus plucked guitar and female vocal sample acts as the guide to enter into The Secret Garden. The New Order like guitar is used subtly and to great effect on several tunes and most notably on 'Live In On Dream' & Guardian Angel' which links them all together as a cohesive whole. On 'Guardian Angel' there is a deep dub like feel to it with a more pronounced bass line that, combined with the eerie synth’s creates a feeling of shifting unease and drama. 

Each sample is used effectively on each tune and adds extra dimension and meaning. There is also the best use of a Mad Men one I have ever heard. In fact I don't think I have ever heard Mad Men being sampled before.  The first half of the album has a brooding intensity to it but this is counter balanced as the album progresses. I am not going to give too much away because the natural transition is sublime and delightful when it hits . .. Pure elevation!

The way this whole album is constructed reminds me of those proficient dj's who know how to take a crowd on a journey without them fully realising how they arrived at the end destination but just really glad they were brought there.

There is so much more that I could say about this album but I really don't want to give all it's secrets away before you even step foot inside. I will say though that The Secret Garden is bursting with strange, beautiful vibrant colour and sound and I strongly advise you to journey right into the centre of it.

Review by CKA John


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