Old Man Diode: The King Krill – album review

Old Man Diode – The King Krill (WW Records)
12″ / DL / LP
Out Now
7/10

Diode and Rick Holland first met “in the midst of a haze of London music making” back at the start of the new millennium. Now, after ten years, they’ve finally decided to join forces together & with some of their other friends to produce The King Krill, their debut album.

2011 was a strange year for Brian Eno. Coldplay re-hired him as producer on the confusingly-named Mylo Xyloto, but rather than innovate and subsequently invigorate as he has with so many artists, the record was by-the-numbers and instantly forgettable, clinging to the coattails of 2010’s pop darlings with brightly lit neon claws. Meanwhile Eno also collaborated with poet Rick Holland on the LP Drums Between the Bells and Panic of Looking EP; a record described as having “all the spirit of Microsoft Excel“.

 

Perhaps surprisingly, the split from Eno appears to have reinvigorated Holland. Now he has teamed up with grizzly electronic scientist Old Man Diode on The King Krill, a hyperactive dance record a million miles from his earlier, more space-gazing affairs. Drum machines throb and buzz relentlessly, interwoven with synths with enough space afforded for breath that the album treads a neat line between gorgeous trance and smart drum & bass. Meanwhile the numerous collaborators are vocalists such as Chris James and Beth Rowley, whose soulful singing offers a neat counterpoint to music that drips of artificial intelligence.

There is a wealth of ideas on offer here, numerous avenues explored with modulated vocals, chopped up drums and the aforementioned synths coming together to create fraught and threatening soundscapes. Nonetheless, at just eight tracks and 37 minutes long there’s never any danger of The King Krill tipping over into proggy self-indulgence as OMD (no, not them) and Holland expand on their numerous ideas.

The album has just been released today, 26th March and will be followed by a limited edition vinyl run on 25th April.

We’ve also been honoured to have been given a previously unreleased track from the same sessions that spawned the album to share with you, our readers.

You can also grab a free download to a remix of “Still Silver” by Beasley here.

Old Man Diode’s website is here. They’re on Soundcloud here, Facebook here & Twitter. Rick Holland’s website is here & he’s on Twitter here.

All words by Dan Lucas. More writing by Dan on Louder Than War can be found in his author archive here.

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