As the French label Ed Banger continues to establish itself as one of the present day electronic music labels of choice, many of their artists are now on to albums numbers two or further. Following Justice‘s second album late last year, now it’s the turn of the highly rated and folically challenged Krazy Baldhead.
A lot has happened for him since 2009 and first album The B Suite, with the influences of ’70s jazz and Motown now making a play for his affections, along with a healthy dose of analogue electronics to complement the pre-programmed. All this and more is somehow incorporated into The Noise In The Sky, which becomes a densely populated mixture of sounds, styles and musical colours.
The challenge for his Krazyness, aka Pierre-Antoine Grison, is to use all of these musical weapons without completely obliterating our senses. There are times on this record where the tempo changes are difficult to track, and there are tracks that can be read as either slow or fast, which fuels a sense of confusion before the ear adjusts. Yet this is by no means a bad thing, and the relentless quest for invention becomes ultimately invigorating, and the music settles enough to satisfy those craving a bit of structure as well as those with short attention spans.
There is considerable emotional depth here, too, for Grison moves through a whole gamut of moods and feelings, which often sit at the very front of his music. There is an impressive scope, too, for the likes of Alexander Platz and Must There Be An Angel?, which have enough of a stature to qualify for use as soundtrack material. So assured are the settings and textures that after a few listens it’s not impossible to form the idea that these are the musical thoughts of a figure such as Jean Michel Jarre, fed through a dubstep blender.
There is steel, too, to the galvanized beats and synths of Amplifried, while Day In, Day Out and Miles High make plays for looser, funkier climbs. Resurrection, meanwhile, paints a bleaker picture with its desolate textures, and with these contrasting emotions and tempos running through the album this mostly instrumental material knits together seamlessly, the structure nicely balanced.
The Noise In The Sky, then, is an ambitious and often successful attempt to unite disparate styles, expressing itself largely without the need for vocals. As and when Krazy Baldhead feels the need to introduce these in to the equation his music will undoubtedly gain an extra dimension – but for now it is treading an intriguing and often exciting path.