Killing Sound – ‘Killing Sound’ EP (Blackest Ever Black)

Spawned from the elite ranks of Bristol’s Young Echo collective, Killing Sound is the three-headed beast of Amos Childs (Jabu, Zhou), Seb Gainsborough (Vessel) and Sam Kidel (El Kid). It’s a project that has been something of a tease for Young Echo fans since the trio surfaced back in 2012 with a 19-minute live jam on the B-side of a release for Bristol cassette label No Corner. The inclusion of another track, ‘Six Harmonies’, on Zhou’s Electronic Explorations mix and talk of a follow-up 10″ added to the mystery in 2013, before an announcement last month confirmed the boys would be making their official debut on Kiran Sande’s Blackest Ever Black imprint.

Much like the various solo and collaborative monikers of Childs, Gainsborough and Kidel, Killing Sound occupies a space where classification is futile, but influences are evident and crucial. The four tracks on this double 12″ are predominantly beatless exercises in space, atmosphere and intensity, informed by the stifling bass pressure of dub and paranoid atmospherics of trip-hop, but adhering to the structural conventions of neither.Picking up where we were left in 2013 with ‘Six Harmonies’, the restless drones and fleeting vocal sketches remain as mournful as they are claustrophobic. The mood of ‘Thousand Hands’ is infinitely more punishing – an intense trip through gothic noise, distorted gunclaps and digi-dub noodlings. It’s scary, widescreen stuff, and feels like waking up from a bad dream when the haunting, ethereal joy of ‘Eight Methods’ relieves it. The EP’s final track ‘Water Boxing’ is the most conventional of the four, with the trio letting their guards down in a weighty lo-fi homage to their dub roots.

As beatless and cinematic as most of this release is, it is unmistakably soundsystem music, and there’s a magic at work here that underpins much of the material produced by the Young Echo collective. These guys know their heritage, but never take it for granted. It’s vital music, influenced by the past but driven by the future, and never, ever predictable. Buy this record and turn it up very, very loud.

You can pre-order the 2 x 12″ vinyl package HERE, to be shipped mid-March

Ed Oliver