Friday, 30 October 2009

King Cannibal – Let The Night Roar [Ninja Tune]

The debut album from Ninja Tune’s King Cannibal throws anything from dubstep and D’n’B via dancehall, industrial and electronica into the blender, if its got bass and a rudeboy darkness its in here. Plus it comes with vocal contributions from the likes of Daddy Freddy, Face-A-Face and Jahcoozi, which really give the album a unique edge. This hybrid of styles shouldn’t be a surprise as this is the guy that’s gusseted on two Solid Steel radio shows and did the epic super rare mix, ‘One Foot In The Fire, One Fist In The Air’ as Zilla so lets just say that as a producer he knows how to throw it in the blender and come out sounding fresh. Let The Night Roar is an uncompromising, tension fuelled ride through the dark side.

The album starts in a cinematic fashion of epic wide screen proportions before dropping into the monstrous ‘Aragami Style’ with it’s harsh bass and cut up breaks its got so much pent up energy its frightening, its been getting plays from everyone from Mary Anne Hobbs to studio wizard Amon Tobin and you can tell why it sounds like its tearing the dance floor a new a-hole. There are plenty more highlights including the first vocal track ‘Murder Us’ with Jahcoozi, it’s a dark growling horror sound tracker that you could have seen somewhere on last years dystopian London Zoo. But where The Bug used a warm hazy atmosphere King Cannibal has a crisp, sharp feel yet still doesn’t let up on the rough and hard darkness. The two albums do share parallels but defiantly come out sounding completely different.

We get a little lightness shining through with the bumpin’ Face-A-Face vocaled ‘Virgo’ the drums and MC’ing give a dancehall vibe that is still pretty damn dark but maybe not as terrifying as what came before. This vibe continues for a while on the fantastically deep and atmospheric ‘So… Embrace The Minimum’ which wouldn’t sound out of place in a Berlin nightclub, the techy rolling vibes play off the almost ‘Reese’ like bass perfectly and the effects on the ‘So’ sample sound brilliant. The album has a crisp, lush sound to it with plenty going on he creates some serious soundscapes within his deeply twisted tracks, field sounds and film samples crop up to add colour to the beastly dance floor sounds. The final vocal cut by Daddy Freddy ‘Dirt’ also happens to be the flip to the ‘So… Embrace The Minimum’ 12” and it’s another disturbing dancehall killer, with pitch shifted vocals and a gnarly energetic vocal performance.

Sometimes the relentless pent up dark aggression gets a bit too much, I get this feeling with ‘Colder Still’ the full on breaks and the appearance of a ranting goblin sent from Lucifer tips it just over the edge. Things soon get back on track with the mad industrial breakbeat swung grooves of ‘A Shining Force’ and ‘The Untitiled’ with its nervous skittish rattle that really gets you looking over your shoulder before the scuzzy feedback drenched distortion of ‘Onward Vultures’ brings an eerie calm like your hiding in the bushes from beasts unknown.

King Cannibal defiantly has his own unique sound Let The Night Roar is an assured debut that’s not for the faint hearted you can imagine it soundtracking the first? Dancehall horror movie: where Zombie MC’s take over the dance and feast on the flesh of the revellers before breaking out into the night to cause death and destruction to the innocent and unsuspecting.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Video: King Cannibal - So… Embrace The Minimum

King Cannibal - So... Embrace The Minimum Video

King Cannibal - Let The Night Roar Cd OUT NOW! MySpace Video

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