Kuedo
Severant


4.0
excellent

Review

by Deviant STAFF
October 19th, 2011 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Severant is where grime gives way to something more gorgeous, more expressive; and as a result, something much more eye-opening.

As one half of the aggressive and industrial-tinged dubstep outfit Vex’d, Jamie Teasdale unwittingly became a champion for the expansive crowd of hard-edged bass enthusiasts who craft their music like car crashes, where everything just sounds like a tangled web of bent steel. But now shifting identities to the new moniker of Kuedo, Teasdale is eager to re-invent himself as a futurist pioneer, now having little to do with the aggro frustration of dubstep. What was hinted at on his breakthrough track ‘Star Fox’ and what Severant ends up fulfilling is Jamie’s love for the subtle and the sublime. Vex’d’s sophomore effort Cloud Seed hinted at this more delicate approach, but Teasdale’s move to solo shores has proven to be the ultimate catalyst for this desire to emerge. Severant is where grime gives way to something more gorgeous, more expressive; and as a result, something much more eye-opening.

At the heart of Severant lies a quiet yet persistent notion of looking forward, of delirious imagination and wide-eyed wonderment. Densely layered synthesizers and weighty pads help bring this idea to a realistic fulfillment, using the varied works of Vangelis and the likes of Boards of Canada as touchstones to help form his own distinct movement. And there are times here when nods to the “intelligent dance music” scene became accurately appropriate, as swirling strands of whisper-thick synths tied down in nostalgia cascade over the tumbling and steep percussion; in fact, the track ‘Salt Lake Cuts’ wouldn’t sound too astray propped up within BoC’s Twosim extended play. But what sets Kuedo apart from more mythical counterpoints is his desire to anchor the swirling ambiguity and confine it within tightly constructed beats. He grounds them within the realm of dance music, and it’s where they’re pulled thin over more uptempo slices of melancholia that Severant finds itself rising above the tired ambiguity of the idm scene.

And yet for such a simple thing, it’s the beats themselves rather than what fills them that ends up defining the album as a true gem. Whether he‘s picking apart the raucous din of booming hip hop abrasiveness, or latching onto the frantic and jittery Chicago footwork scene, the dynamic that forms at the meeting point between such wholly separate identities becomes something all-encompassing and suitably unavoidable. But as forceful as Teasdale braces his tracks, they’re not so over powering that they accidentally erase the almost invisible affinity that powers them. They’re still hazy and dreamlike in appearance, like sketchy images of alien vistas and barren dystopias. They’re lazily composed, more blurry at the edges than clearly illuminated, yet still edgy and invigorating. There’s also a set amount of tension caught up in the wave tide of this album, as everything that tries to drift away finds itself tethered dangerously too close to the ground.

‘Salt Lake Cuts’ becomes another perfect example of this, as the delicacy finds itself under threat from the pummeling onslaught of the boom bap pilfering, the drunken melody distorting under the caffeinated and fidgety percussion. ‘Scissors’ apes this notion by throwing the serenity into a vortex until it reaches the point where it seems to shimmer so fast that it throws everything around it into a similar cycle. He changes moods at the drop of a hat as well, going from the drugged out bliss of ‘Vectoral’ with its chimebox pining to the dark menacing tantrum of ‘Flight Path’ that flutters through a wave of early acid flashbacks. He chimes in with his own thoughts on the current “glitch hop” phenomenon with ‘Ascension Phase’ and even tries his hand at crooning r&b with closer ‘Memory Rain’. And somewhere within these wholly different yet deliberately placed variances you find the heart of this album, warm yet still distant. It shows that Kuedo may be more than just a brief reprieve or a minor dalliance for Teasdale, but that this incarnation might be the identity he was always destined to become. Because beauty comes thick and fast with this album, and even though it’s taken wholesale from more popular sources, here it feels like we’re only now hearing it for the first time.



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3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
struth
October 19th 2011


435 Comments


I love how different Roly Porter and Kuedo are to Vex'd and each other.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


Truth Flood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyhwpmnEoNA
Ascension Phase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1V8_FJGAxA
Salt Lake Cuts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTIxUxM-OZg


Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


So yeah, speaking of reviewing this haha

struth
October 19th 2011


435 Comments


The hi-hat on this album is pretty southern rap haha.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


You ever check out FaltyDL's latest Struth? If you havent you'll dig it

struth
October 19th 2011


435 Comments


You Stand Uncertain? I love that album. I love the direction he's going with the Making It Difficult / Jack Your Job 12".

Yotimi
October 19th 2011


6503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

on my neverending 2011 list of albums to get.

Digging: Chrome Sparks - Goddess

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


Put this closer to the top

struth
October 19th 2011


435 Comments


Anyone know if Vex'd are still together/planning to release anything?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


They haven't split up

struth
October 19th 2011


435 Comments


Good to hear.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31174 Comments


Rejoice sonic

psykonaut
October 19th 2011


3913 Comments


i shall be obtaining this posthaste

Rev
October 19th 2011


9423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hells yeah


great review dev, album is killer




and now I have to get all the recommended albums

mvood
October 19th 2011


818 Comments


frustratingly hard trying to find a download for this

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


10207 Comments


Good review Deviant!

Also noticed you added a period to the end of your summary, it seems to have lost that personal touch of yours :[

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Iai
Emeritus
October 19th 2011


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

One half? I always thought Vex'd was one guy, haha

Adash
October 19th 2011


1356 Comments


Deviant write
Adash like
Sputnik listen

WashboardSuds
October 19th 2011


5015 Comments


album didn't do much for me but still decent

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 19th 2011


6448 Comments


Guess I'll put this on my neverending list as well...

Stop reviewing all this great material, I barely have time to keep up with you ;)

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor



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