[sic] Magazine

Death To The King – Unearthly Cosmic Sounds

It was very kind of Kevin Quigley to name this release Unearthly Cosmic Sounds as that’s half the job of describing his Death To The King project done. And if it’s anything to go by, his London base must be a bleak place indeed to influence the unsettling drone, scuffed beats and guitar feedback that inhabit its opening tracks.

Its unearthly element comes courtesy of a pervading sense of dead-eyed menace akin to A Place To Bury Strangers ‘ more funereal moments, and these, as on “Blast Magic Void” come layered with a nightmarish ambience that Autechre might produce at their most despondent. Track titles like “The Empty Room” only add to this sense of foreboding. Ticking beats and industrial graunches that bottom out like a growling demon only strengthen the unease.

Quigley also explores his cosmic side with the almost-psyche of the flat-lining and meditative “Faust”, a track that suggests at experimental acts like Sunn O))) , if someone had first stolen half their equipment mid-set, driving over the rest of it in their getaway, leaving it to malfunction and splutter infinitely.

Acting as centrepiece for the seven-track release, the whispery dirge “The Spirits Of Dead Magicians”, in which Quigley makes a rare vocal appearance, seems to channel sinister no-wavers Mars for its six-minute duration. A delicate outro on “Twilight Of The Idol” however clears the air, allowing the buzzing synth and tinny percussion of the more optimistic “Dream Unknown” to close.

Unearthly Cosmic Sounds is made for late night driving, fast and alone while some drug wears off. It’s at home when streetlights and road markings becomes strobe-like, at home when voices chatter just beyond the mind’s horizon and, as a result, it propels itself and the listener forward unerringly into an unknown dawn.

~Unearthly Cosmic Sounds is out now on C40 (with free poster) via Skrot Up .~