Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder

January 01, 1970

(Tri Angle)


“When I listen to their
music, I feel it in my entire body.” So proclaims actress Ellen Page who,
when she is not busy raising awareness on the alarming disappearance of the
earth’s population of bees (
or being her usual button-cute Canadian self, is singing the praises of
20-year-old Pennsylvanian Alec Koone, quickly proving himself to be one of the
most intriguing enigmas in modern electronic music.


Following the promising mystery
of his 2010 debut EP See Birds, the Ithaca dropout returns with his first
full-length effort. It submerges the unique brand of alien R&B that earned
him a gig soundtracking Beyonce’s booty claps for a L’Oreal commercial into an
aquatic afterworld of complex laptop rhythms and airy samples of operatic
vocals, xylophones and his own processed singing – and in a way that brings an
element of John Cage’s chance theory to the genre the kids are calling
“Witch House”.


It should be said, however,
that on Wonder/Wander Koone transcends such dippy, blog-generated catch-phrasing,
displaying a sense of genuine dominion within the art of experimental laptop
pop. And while one can call out tracks like “Welcome,”
“Motion” and “Await” as highlights of this eight-song set,
the LP is meant to be heard in its entirety (“in the tradition of a
classical work like a Bach Cello Suite,” according to the artist).
Exhibiting a mastery of static and atmosphere at such a tender age offers a
universe of promise that is bound to reveal itself as this talented youngster
skitters across life’s touch screen en route to adulthood.


Just ask Juno.


DOWNLOAD: “Motion”, “Await” RON HART




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