Agitated Atmosphere: Konntinent – Down with Candy

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Konntinent.

Improvisation is an art lost to the world of music. Even the most earnest musician or composer gets lost in capturing the singular note that fulfills their grandiose idea. There exists a community of creators willing to toss convention aside in hopes of finding their own style through tireless tinkering but even in such improvisation, patterns emerge and the comfort of a niche often leads bright minds astray.

Antony Harrison, painting pictures of whiskey drinking on warm coast lines, is not such a wanderer. As Konntinent, he taps into the aural beauty of spacey synth to create demonstratively ideas — difficult to do in a genre already bowing under the weight of expectation and bandwagon passengers. Down with Candy, Harrison’s first release for Seattle-based Debacle, delves into the heart of unpredictable darkness. Recorded as a singular improvised take, the album’s five parts seamlessly transition as if this idea had long been captured in Harrison’s bourbon-soaked imagination, just waiting for the Kentucky goodness to rinse it loose.

Listen to “Red Lion” now:

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Nodes of London dubstep and Ohio atmosphere lend Down with Candy its familiar string but the ease at which Harrison switches and combines the slightly disparate ideals into long form improv is the dream of hack comedians and restless composers alike. And though Harrison is guilty of forging recognizable patterns, he’s quick to crush them with quick slights of hand. Moods change effortlessly from hard head bops to dreamy sways as a swirl of synths, guitars, and drum machines make sweet drunken love at the command of Harrison. Down with Candy sidesteps current synth convention in spite of its familiarity, no small feat for someone pulling an album’s worth of material from a bottle.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. He also pens Deserted for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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