Following on from Angophora's beautiful long player, Ken Oath is back with another full length LP from Low Flung. Friends of the label will note that this is his third release for Ken Oath, and it's a fittingly mature and expansive statement for a debut LP. Perhaps mature is the wrong word here, as all his brilliant ideas are backed up by a sense of whimsy that betrays his playful side. The music strikes a balance between styles and spaces that could perfectly soundtrack moments at home, in the club, and in the liminal spaces between.
Danny's efforts at writing dance music still contain the idiosyncratic approaches of his ambient works: The deadly deep subs and endless echo spirals on "Rising Damp" sounds like someone trying to piece together a Drum & Bass track after an off-hand conversation about the genre. He's transmuted the propulsive energy of jungle into something no less dynamic, full of stops and starts and sonic pressure but flush with space. "Tarp Climber" is at heart a rollicking digi-dub.
The more ambient moments of the LP are equally captivating - the glassy tones of "Frozen Coat" sound like a space-age ensemble soundtracking a floating lounge on a suite of glass instruments, while "Ocean Grove" blends field recordings and dreamy synthesizer melodies to create an uncanny sense of place that unroots you from wherever you're listening.
There's a heavy emphasis on Danny's collaborators as well - the Cold Emotion duo is reprised on the spacey ‘Hills Hoist’. Closer "Bacchus Marsh" is a collaboration with Prophets, a cross-state ensemble that defy any easy categorisation. The music here flirts with jazz and minimalism but with a dubwise production aesthetic to produce something that recalls Khan Jamal's visionary "Drum Dance to the Motherland" in spirit and practice, but this whole album sounds as otherworldly and one-of-a-kind as the aforementioned LP.
Format: 12-inch Vinyl LP
Label: Ken Oath
Released: January 2018
Genre: Ambient / Dub / House