Sitting somewhere comfortably between the realms of post-rock, ambient and electronic, Spain’s The Kiss That Took a Trip appears to be just yet another addition to an already overcrowded genre. However, there is a slight difference - almost all of the instrumentation is synthetic.
M.D. Trello, the brainchild behind the project, claims that much like his muse, Brian Eno, he is not a musician at all. Upon hearing the gorgeous melodies and wonderfully put-together blend of styles in Electroforest
, it’s difficult to agree with him.
Starting with 3 dazzling post-rock/ambient numbers that somehow bring to mind genre greats, Hammock, The Kiss That Took a Trip immediately establishes itself as a project that has little use for authentic instrumentation. The melodies are achingly beautiful and the atmosphere is particularly engaging in these opening moments. “Tidy Up You Pig” has moments of darkness but third track “Champions of Delay” is just pure loveliness.
However, “Greatest Loves Are Secret” is where the album really takes a turn, opting for a vocal-led indietronica approach that is quite different to anything else on Electroforest
thus far. “Snowstorm”, on the other hand, starts with a lengthy dark ambient passage that unexpectedly moves through IDM-influenced electronica and ends with a stunning post-rock conclusion. It’s easily one of the best songs on the album and also one of the most unique.
“Malice” sounds like a bad trip at times, with the bouncy, cartoonish instrumentation having a slightly sinister twist to it, while “Flowers of Gas and Smoke” has a well-placed sample in the middle of it for extra post-rock credit. “Jackie O’Lantern” moves the album in yet another direction, sounding a bit like a creepy Marilyn Manson interlude track, while still not seeming out of place in the context of the album.
The album ends with the one-two punch of “Amplification of the Senses” – which takes on ballady folk rock – and “Happy Birthday Party Monster”, a typically subdued ambient outro track. Electroforest
is summed up quite nicely by these two songs; at times it feels as though the album is worthwhile only as an experiment in using synthetic instrumentation, rather than for the songs themselves. Would “Amplification of the Senses” or “Jackie O’Lantern” be particularly noteworthy tracks on any other album" Perhaps not.
And yet The Kiss That Took a Trip proves that it can be so much more than just an experiment, as the emotion behind some of the tracks shows. There is some real musicianship behind these songs, despite Trello’s claims otherwise. All in all, Electroforest
is a worthwhile experience for any fan of electronica or post-rock/ambient.
The album is available as a ‘pay what you wish’ release on Bandcamp.