- Killing Sound is yet another outgrowth of the endlessly recombinant Young Echo collective; this time it's members Vessel, El Kid and Jabu at the controls. The shadowy, abstract aesthetic of the group's solo debut will be familiar to Young Echo fans, but here it's reduced to its barest essence. The resultant meditative assemblages, all tawny bell-tones and submerged percussion, find a suitable home on Blackest Ever Black. Still, the soundsystem values that animate many Young Echo projects remain central. These four tracks have been pressed one-per-side to a double-12-inch, ensuring maximum loudness and bass response. And musically, dub—both as process and as sound source—is a strong presence. "Thousand Hands" opens with arid skank-chords and bleeping sirens, joined in the latter half by what sounds like a machinegun unloading into a spring reverb. "Water Boxing," meanwhile, transforms what could be the crackle-strewn intro from an old roots reggae tune into a taut study in bass pressure.
Elsewhere the trio pitch for a more conventional sort of darkness. The monks-in-a-shadowed-abbey vibe of "Six Harmonies" feels a bit hackneyed, but the execution remains highly refined—which is particularly impressive given that these tracks are real-time performances rather than carefully assembled studio tracks. "Eight Methods" turns similar atmospheres to more exquisite ends. Hewn from a faded choral sample and a few mournful bass notes, it's reminiscent of Tropic Of Cancer at her sparsest. But rather than floating in mournful stasis, it steadily, almost imperceptibly, lowers in pitch, creating a sense of perpetual transience—a slow descent towards a moment of resolution that never comes.
A1 Six Harmonies
B1 Thousand Hands
C1 Eight Methods
D1 Water Boxing