Wednesday 18 February 2015

Review: Kyle Michael Porter – 'NeoNoir'


Electronic artist and producer Kyle Michael Porter (The Walking Wounded) returns with a distinctly more experimental experience than fans of his main project will be used to. Taking his cues from the hey day of experimental electronica 'NeoNoir' is a burst of cyberpunk influenced atmospherics that recall the likes of The Geinoh Yamashiro Gumi, Dogon, Tsuyoshi Kon, Keishi Urata, and The Future Sounds of London.

With titles such as 'Dark Operator', 'Net Jack', 'Street Level', and 'Paradigm Shift' its easy to form a conceptual narrative throughout the tracks into a story arc that could have been penned by William Gibson or Bruce Sterling. The hissing noisy glitches, ambient strings and simple dramatic use of percussion build tension and add an overwhelmingly cinematic feel across the seven tracks. 'Street Level' in particular conjures up images of a dark decaying high tech cityscape straight out of Bladerunner'. While the likes of 'Net Jack', and 'Countless Wonders' evoke the physical and virtual components of cyberspace.

The album having been recorded in one day and played by hand, creates a unified statement that really needs to be experienced in one go. It's not the kind of album you pick a favourite track from or dip in and out of. Rather it is a complete work in seven movements.

The production is quite passable for something that was the product of a single day's worth of recording. But therein also lies its charm. It is the punk element of cyberpunk that is being emphasised and it works really well.

If you are a fan of ambient / experimental electronics then it's a pretty good bet you'll like this album. Even if you can only claim to having Trent Reznor and Atticuss Ross' film soundtracks, you'll appreciate the cinematic quality of 'NeoNoir'. It's another great release from the Unsound America label, and hopefully one Porter will follow up.  

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