[sic] Magazine

Kandodo3 – K3

As we said when reviewing the Kandodo/McBain split back in 2016, it was only a matter of time until the pair shared a spine together and here, through John McBain’s guest guitar and his now-customary mastering, the twosome are back side-by-side once more. Yes, the bromance runs deep between Simon Price, singer/guitarist of cult psych-rock band The Heads, and McBain of many an equally heady band, most notably, of course, druggy space-rockers Monster Magnet. Head-to-head the results were to be as expected, fuzzy drone transporting the listener though kaleidoscopic dreams built on gnarly soloing and syrupy pedal-abuse. Thanks to an ingenious double mastering at both 33 and 45rpm, however, ever-blackening kraut clouds did manage to break periodically into a more ethereal simmer. And it’s in this more relaxed atmosphere that the Kandodo3 once again reside on the seriously chill K3.

Three Heads are clearly better than one and, although we find that Bristol band’s bassist and drummer here too (Hugo Morgan and Wayne Maskell), K3’s pillowy ambience is as warm as it subtly menacing, as soft and open as it is claustrophobic. K3 thus doesn’t shout to win the argument. Its favoured negotiation technique is a special kind of death by a thousand cuts that will leave you gasping for air. There’s a real skill to delivering such a mute display of power and it lets K3 land a further series of contradictions; it’s a pretty and yet enormous album, fragile and yet crushing. Nothing short of total immersion is therefore recommended to be able to zone in on the micro-detail chimes that allow ear-filling kosmiche pulses to flourish more prominently, so too gently rippling percussion that permits lonely, desert-blown chords to seem that much more distinct. Against an omnipresent reservoir of deep drones, these irradiated FX do on occasion become more agitated, cymbals splashing angrily on the humid push through the cosmic undergrowth in search of sacred pools, but – carefully considered to a note – these are the exception rather the rule.

Occupying a full platter of this double LP release and somewhat more difficult to miss, however, sits a reworked version of “High On Planes/Drifter”, which in 2015 was the Kandodo3’s sole contribution to a 12” split with fellow psychonauts Carlton Melton. Then it was a 20-minute exploration of psychedelic loops rumbling away into the void; now the run-time has doubled to accommodate a haunting music box opening, scanning drones meeting a skittering heartbeat head on, muscular percussion bubbling away in the background to slowly ramp up the intensity from afar before a loooong fade back to pure ambience. The supreme art of war, you see, is to subdue without fighting and Price and McBain are masters of the art.

~K3 is released 5th July 2019 via Rooster Records.~