Alternative/Indie & Electro/Recorded/Reviews
UNITING the sounds of Istanbul-born sound designer Basak Gunak – aka Ah! Kosmos – and the towering tones of vocalist LAFAWNDAH, new track ‘From The Land Below, which dropped on March 3, is a stunning union that demonstrates why these women are two of the most promising talents around.
With Gunak’s crisp orchestrations that delve within the realms of tribal percussion and electronics, her scores of darkened sounds build against the haunting melodies conjured by LAFAWNDAH. The way her voice eases through the track’s hook is effortless – using all the dispiriting texture of a voice set between Yukimi Nagano and Bjork – and is ‘From The Land Below’s most enduring feature. It’s layered over sets of pulsing rhythms, echoing guitars and building brass that demonstrates exactly how Gunak earned a place at the Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo and support Jonny Greenwood’s Project Olacak at a sold-out night at the Barbican last year.
In truth, this track could quite easily have come from a collaboration between Moderat and Little Dragon. And perhaps the fact Gunak now lives in Berlin is a reason as to why her compositions have become so enriched by the driving, warped atmospheres she now finds herself within.
It’s a beautiful piece and perhaps 2017’s best collaboration so far. And with Gunak unleashing her new two-track ep ‘Together We Collide’ later this year, no doubt there will be another contender from her for that title.
To find out more about Ah! Kosmos visit her Facebook page.
Words by Clive Hammond