“Sense of Natural Confusion” is electronic duo Kabuki Dream’s latest release. A work which focuses on the sense of loss that is innate in every human being, and that is made even more confusing by the ongoing and deafening noise produced by today’s society.
The tracks – just as pieces in a jigsaw puzzle – are dedicated to the many facets that make up this theme. The sound is definitely more disco-oriented than their previous work, “Abstract” (2022): the pursuit of movement and fast pace is seen as one of man’s possible remedies to satisfy his ancestral frustration and overcome his own ghosts.
In the opening track, “Projections“, the initial gloomy atmosphere is interrupted by sharper, more rhythmic sounds which represent our projections of the reality surrounding us, slowly creeping in our conscience and sowing the doubt of us being immersed in a gigantic illusion. An essential, minimalist track dominated by only apparently relaxed atmospheres, which on the contrary aim at destabilizing the listener.
The title track is what best sums up the album’s concept: an insistent piano loop lying on a carpet of effects and frequent feedbacks, choruses coming in and out and distortions of the main theme, symbolizing the torments of the human soul. Only towards the end of the track do we get to perceive a motion of rebellion with the introduction of a hammering beat.
The change of direction towards techno continues with “Laugh“. In the track’s intro one can hear a short countdown being repeated over and over again, marked by what seems to be the ticking of a clock. The track finally reaches its climax with a few seconds of silence, interrupted only by a mocking laughter – a signal that the transformation process from anxiety into energy has now been completed. The countdown will return later, once again interrupted by laughter: this time, however, an even more aggressive beat will start, which will gradually become more stratified together with the melodic crossings performed by the synthesizers.
“Sicily” represents a return to the past for Kabuki Dream. In this track, electronic music is once again at the service of images: a soundtrack that draws its inspiration from Sicily and tries to describe the atmosphere of this region and its history through music.
“Everything I like, I don’t like it / Everything I don’t like, I like it“: the tune sung in the fifth track “Like Don’t Like” is not nonsense as one might think at first listen, rather it constitutes a simple realisation: everything that we perceive from the outside and that we immediately like – especially in the music world – usually corresponds to canons that we have already internalized and that we know well. On the contrary, what at first shocks us does so because it obeys rules unknown to us.
It is precisely from this encounter with the unknown, therefore, that we can learn something new, something that in the future, once we have internalized it, will perhaps represent the next benchmark for judging what we like. From this point of view, listening to new sounds that destabilize us can be a truly formative experience.
In “Simmetria Degli Angoli Ottusi” we return to a surreal world, marked by the stride of a classic piano and decorated by the strokes and geometric progressions of the synths. The eardrum growing slowly in the background and the rhythmic and decisive beat help to highlight the sense of confusion that accompanies the entire album.
“Last Call To Funk” is probably the most radio-friendly track on the record. Born from the collaboration with guitarist Jack Ceccarelli, the song is the perfect fusion between Kabuki Dream’s distinctive sound and funky music. The lyrics are about a young girl who is invited to make a decision: give up punk music in order to embrace a more suitable genre – disco music.
With “Dreamland” the dreamlike journey continues, and is seen as the only dimension in which man can forget his own suffering and free himself from his fears. The lyrics in French, together with a redundant voice, emphasize the dreamy atmosphere of the track, while the tribal beat throws us into an electronic and psychedelic world.
In the ninth and tenth track the theme of art – already the leitmotif of the previous work “Abstract” – returns vehemently and is understood as a liberating force that allows us to elevate the human condition.
In “Blue Rectangle Yellow Square and Red Circle“, essential geometric shapes and primary colors reassure man and represent a safe haven where to land. The song sounds vaguely chillout until the drums explode, and with them the human desire to leave all the doubts and insecurities behind.
“Pop Art Vending Machine” tells us we should all be able to draw on the world of art whenever we feel the need to do so, as if we could have a vending machine that sells Pop Art, the artistic current which was by its very nature popular and – at least in appearance – easily usable. However, the track feels angular, because our frenetic routine prevents us from slowing down when we want to and dedicate the right amount of time to art: the voices we hear screaming in the track bring us back to a harsh reality.
The album closes with “Attimi Atomi“: all our anxiety is concentrated in a juncture of time and space. The drums hit hard, the synths are alienating. It is as if you could not linger any further – and neither you feel the need to.
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