- Jesse Kanda is best known as a visual artist, whose work for the likes of Arca, FKA Twigs and Björk has involved filming his own genitals and choreographing dance troupes of mutant babies. His aesthetic is gruesome, but it's not without reason—Kanda has said he wants to present "'disgusting' things as something beautiful." His debut record, as Doon Kanda, does just that. The sound palette—labyrinthine melodies played on weird, blunted synths—resembles Arca's, but the emotional tenor is slightly different. There's an epic dimension in Arca's work, while Kanda's is more intimate.
Drums are a stronger presence in the opening tracks. "Axolotl" plays on the contrast between forlorn melodies while a springy house beat propels them along. "Womb" proves harder to rouse from its heartsick stupor—its dulled UK garage slouch only surfaces every now and then. Squint, and it's a Zomby beat. Elsewhere, Kanda opts for an odd three-time feel, sort of like a waltz. He describes "Feline" as "sensual like a courtship"—presumably he means stilted and formal but powered by ardent feelings, which sounds about right. "Wings" has a similar vibe, over which sour chord passages slot together like wilted lego bricks. These tracks have a tweeness that softens the music's emotional punch. The closer, "Heart," is a song about "losing someone you love and your self," which sounds every bit as bleak as that suggests.