Music Reviews: Kites, AIDS Wolf, and Aurora 2 Comp

by John Rickman
The Lovvers LP (Lovepump)

Montreal foursome AIDS Wolf is a band that explodes with restless energy. The group’s feedback-heavy freak-outs teeter back and forth between slight mental instability and complete breakdown. Their violent mood swings artfully employ repetition and take tension building to new heights, yet something is missing.
Aside from the fact their lead screamer is obscured behind a wall of guitar, the quartet as a whole fails to communicate much beyond skill and intensity. AIDS Wolf rock but they suffer from a lack of personality.
I feel I know more about them from their group photo—hidden within the fold out cover photomontage of nudist families—than I do through their music.
Download: Multiply by AIDS Wolf
Kites – Peace Trials

Christopher Forgues is Kites, a builder of analog electronics who creates his own instruments for the purpose of creating sonic irritations heretofore unimaginable. He tweaks frequencies that crawl up your spine and rumble your gut. His homemade, hardwired machines are at the heart of his latest full-length Peace Trials, but Forgues also scatters a few “folk” songs amidst the buzzing blitzkrieg to bring some flesh and blood to the proceedings.
The apocalyptic lyrics of “Creepy Crawl” are reflective of the oft oppressive Kites sound: ‘Doing the creepy crawl / Across the burning sand / Gun turrets revolve / It’s hard being a man.’ Forgues successfully reconfigures the antiquated mythology of the muse into a new circuit-bent reality, but how that connects with all that noise is up to each individual’s imagination.
V/A – Aurora 2

Does all ambient music sound the same to you? Would you rather just listen to the sound of your natural surroundings? Do you think the German label Kompakt should go ahead and release Wolfgang Voigt’s next Gas record already instead of another one of their Pop Ambient compilations? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then perhaps the new Merck comp Aurora 2 is the aural wallpaper you’ve been looking for.
Even the biggest followers of Aphex Twin-inspired, instrumental electronica are unlikely to have heard of most of the artists featured on this new compilation, but fear not—it’s top notch sublime beatlessness. The artists, which include notables Kettel, Twerk, Cepia, and Shapeshifter, offer up combinations of warm synthesis and cold expansiveness, with a touch of found sound for good measure. Press play and drift away.