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Album Review

A good deal heavier and murkier than the electronic prog-disco fare sometimes associated with Smalltown Supersound — though far from unrelated to that aesthetic — K-X-P are the first fruit of the eponymous project fronted by Op:l Bastards' Timo Kaukolampi. Effectively a synth-bass-drums power trio — with the slight twist that the lineup alternates between a pair of drummers — K-X-P specialize in dark, elemental, monolithic grooves with an obvious debt to your typical slate of gritty, texture-oriented post-punk minimalists (Suicide, Spacemen 3, This Heat) and motorik Krautrockers (Can, Neu!). Each of these eight cuts has its own distinct rhythmic flavor — "Mehu Moments" sports a simple, steady jazz-funk beat; "Elephant Man" rides a hypnotic, herky-jerky tribal pounding; standout "18 Hours (Of Love)" is a stomping T. Rex/Goldfrapp/Battles shuffle — but they maintain a fairly consistent tone and approach, with plenty of groaning, throbbing drones, noisy squalls of synth noodling, and other bits of psychedelic electro-sonic detritus. Vocals crop up occasionally on three or four of the songs, but they're typically too distorted to make much of an impression — the exception being "Pockets," wherein they're intelligible as English and recognizably melodic though fairly grating (after grappling, largely successfully, with conventional song form, the track's second half retreats into an unexpected morass of fluttering, electro-disco synth arpeggios). As the album progresses, it grows more heavily electronic and increasingly spacy, with the gauzy soundtrack synths of "New World" offering a more subdued moment of cosmic reverie and "Epilogue" closing things out with some beatless, meandering organ drones and wispy wordless vocals. Despite its general seedy overtones and occasional moments of harshness, K-X-P is far from an unpalatable or unpleasant record; indeed, its relentless intensity can even feel oddly calming. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi


Formed: 2006 in Helsinki, Finland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

K-X-P are a Finnish neo-prog band, led by Timo Kaukolampi (of Op:l Bastards and the Lefthanded), that also features bassist/keyboardist Tuomo Puranen, drummer Anssi Nykanen, and electronic percussionist Tomi Leppänen. Joakim Haugland, a record executive at Smalltown Supersound, knew of Kaukolampi from his production work with Norwegian pop sensation Annie, and encouraged him to form a band after hearing some of his Krautrock-inspired solo beats. K-X-P started rehearsing as a group soon thereafter,...
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Top Albums and Songs by K-X-P

K-X-P, K-X-P
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