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White Darkness: ToKAGE

img  Tobias Fischer

Jason Köhnen is part of the Killimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, a member of the  Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation and he's the mastermind behind mindboggling break-core project Bong-Ra. And now, he's also White Darkness – delivering the darkest music imaginable on one of 2011's darkest albums.

On the strength of little more than drums for lead instrument (!; including a killer-ride-cymbal), piano and just a handful of electronic ingredients, the album trudges its way through six pieces with ruthlessly inaccessible names and into a sonic world only well-trained ears will instantly identify as 'music'. Those expecting singer Rachael Kozak's guest appearances to ease the nihilistic mood are in for a disappointment; rather than making the pieces more accessible and human, they contrarily deepen their pervasive morbidity. You're not going to get closer to real terror than on ToKAGE, which doesn't just delineate a pitchblack musical vault, but places the devil directly in your ear. He could touch you at any moment.

Köhnen immerses himself fully into the ambiance, proceeds with relentless focus, uses a minimal array of minimally varied means and thus creates an album which is of an incomparable unpredictability. His hyperslow, unstoppable maelstrom isn't just unique – it's perfect as well.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: Jason Köhnen
Homepage: Denovali Recordings

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