The KRONOS9 vs MONT CARMEL debut album PHREAKER is everything that longtime fans may have been expecting. It is simultaneously introspective, reverent and a heartfelt “fuck you” to the current state of popular music. Mission accomplished – PHREAKER doesn’t sound like anything wafting through the popular and social media today and only lightly reminds me of great things that I have heard in the past from Brian Eno, Richard James, Rupert Parkes and John Cage.
The work on PHREAKER is well conceived, organized and above all constitutes a true “album” rather than the collection of singles we have grown accustomed to hearing. Listening to an album I came to find is a bit like getting back on a bicycle after years of sitting on the couch. This is in no small part to smart decisions in concept, purpose, arrangement and format tenacity on the part of KRONOS9 and MONT CARMEL.
PHREAKER is conceived as a “conceptual soundtrack” for KRONOS9’s debut collection of experimental poetry CODE POET. The tracks contained in the album were simultaneously composed while writing the book. PHREAKER borrows the name from a hacker sub-culture focused on circumventing the now largely defunct analog telephone networks for to their own ends. In retrospect, these “ends” were sometimes innocently sinister (think conduits for pirated software or data pre-dark web) or exuberant side effects of youth (think using access to international telephone networks to deliver ‘transcontinental prank phone calls’). The same spectrum of “ends” are also apparent in this album.
Like true phreakers, KRONOS9 and MONT CARMEL dig deep into the available studio equipment, pop culture and other components to emerge with 11 solid tracks of ambient ill-hop. They also takes cues from CODE POET’s arrangement of the writing into silos denominated in terms of DNA base pair building blocks. In PHREAKER however, biological nomenclature is set aside for history as an arrangement method. The album begins in a “clock-less now-ever” and lurches through various points in time from prehistory, to the 1940s and into a far-flung future.
The album opens with the eerily atmospheric live mouth, a brief 2-minute soundscape romp that begins with vague synths and sounds of the beach at sunrise. Within seconds however a beat emerges as if conjuring from all of this potential nothingness. This gelatinous near arrhythmic track is used as a launch pad into the broader album. The tracks bob and weave from that point forward is sonic texture and theme mimicking the book CODE POET expertly. KRONOS9 seasons the brew with pinches here and there of what he refers to as “free-range samples” prevents the soundscape from descending into a self-absorbed mess.
Herein lies the cleverness of This approach to musical construction. KRONOS9 and MONT CARMEL demonstrate in PHREAKER an ability to ride the razor’s edge between chaos and formula, while navigating the fault lines between noise and melody. The track tent vs stacks track illustrates this point perfectly. Beats flow in and an out, spectral voices cascade over the dark soundstage all without the usual discernible metronome keeping time or order. The entire track is simply suspended through sheer will power.
Part of the art plan was also the format itself, vinyl. As the artists put it, “We just wanted to slow down time for the listener and put them in a purely experiential space with no distractions.” Mission accomplished there. Choosing to exclusively release the music in vinyl form does ‘coerce’ the listener to simply sit down, drop the needle and absorb the album in a way that is impossible with streaming or downloaded music. PHREAKER simply exists on its own, no clicking to the next track or distractions like “… oh, this reminds me of a Photek track, let me find it in my digital music library.” Those little internal remixes are experienced but become less likely to be acted upon. You will still get the errant idea, the digital version of a Tourette's syndrome’s nervous tick that we’ve all developed but it is tempered when listening to PHREAKER in its native habitat – the vinyl record. PHREAKER is an antidote to our poisoned hoard/shuffle/skip consumer lifestyle.
Time is slowed significantly and rewound with the hypnotic Voodoo-esque track cookie mount. I couldn’t help but fall into the ever-slightest head bobbing trance listening to the ritualistic chants. If cookie mount was an uplifting moment, then orgasm packets is a horrific lurch back into the darkest depths of Nazi Germany. This beautifully composed glitch track follows in musical form, the arc of the Wiemar Republic’s descent into the genocidal mania, cult of personality and death masquerading as salvation that was Nazi Germany. At the end of the track all of the lofty musicality simply crumbles leaving nothing but the monophonic rantings of Adolf Hitler.
If these track hurl us millenniums and decades into the past therapy app featuring the singer Chez Mille, brings us back into the immediacy of right now. Chez Mille’s redelivery in spoken word style of a lecture on bio-hacking made me put down CODE POET and listen closely. The music drapes behind her voice like a coming attractions trailer for the most profound high-brow horror film ever produced.
The overarching reality of PHREAKER is that despite pulling individual tracks for comment in this review, it is impossible to fully expose its clever construction without commenting on the whole album. Another overarching fact is that each side of the LP is a well constructed, cohesive composition ready-made for auto-return turntables and moderately lazy home DJs. However, taking the time to lift, flip and push start on your turntable will deliver a solid half hour of shelter from the storm of tweets, alerts, follower requests, bad news on the television, etc. Couple with this a good beverage, smoke or the suggested simultaneous reading of CODE POET, you will emerge energized.
The above are reflect the opinion of the writer ENZO23.
Share your thoughts on Twitter @oniwerks.
The debut electro single from LEGHAND. Stick this in your summer jams playlist + PUSH PLAY.
Eleven tracks of iIll-Hop electronica composed by Kronos9 and Mont Carmel in Miami. The album is a collection inspired by Phone Phreaking, an early form of hacking that targeted the analog telephone networks of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
The debut album from the Miami ill-hop underground’s Kronos9 & Mont Carmel is a tripped out ambient beats driven LP (yes vinyl only) codenamed “PHREAKER.” The album’s title is explicitly inspired by phone phreaking. But in Kronos9’s lab the clicks, clunks, beeps, bleeps and bloops of the isolated analog telephone set of your past are reimagined in collaboration with Mont Carmel into a bespoke Su Misura of harmonious chants and eerie melodies. Trapped in exile within these tracks is the being called the Code Poet. this album serves as the soundtrack to a book of poetry published by the entities within ONIWERKS aka “The Demon Workshop” titled “Code poet” also by kronos9.
Kronos9 and Mont Carmel have succeed in producing eleven tracks of sheer neuropathic electronica, a verisimilitude of the early intrusion of analog telephone network hacking in the early 1960s and the late 1980s. Each track is a re-engineered blast from the past with the innovations of the future. Each track; produces soul soothing Rag’s and Surr’s. Numero uno on my list is the track “Therapy App featuring chez mille” the brain fucking, hypnotist vocals by the English artist Chez Mille smoothly articulate horrific examples of hackers accessing implanted bio-medical devices like pacemakers to devastating effect. This track lays waste to both the high tops of your frontal cortex and short circuits your primitive brain stem. The Monorhyme drum kicks of “Orgasm Packet” are digging down into your genitals while pre-second world war German propaganda chills you to the bone.
In “Phone Tap” Kronos9 & Mont Camel weave an intimidating alien trance into an audio debacle of audible ripples and effervescent serenity. Correspondingly the PHREAKER lp is home to the likes of “Cookie Mount” and the “Dookie Selfie Sticks”, featurettes infused with a sense of utter pandiculation. Last but not the least, the all expansive “Aqua Box Plans”, the septuagenarian “Track 11” and its honest lamination at being a comical representation the hysterical infographics of an “in case of emergency landing airline safety card.” Each measure rolls on from one sonic landscape to another within a perfectly void soundstage.
PHREAKER is a remarkable album, crafted with finesse in the heart of Miami, for the hyper-literate hipsters and musical snobs who no doubt read W.S. Burroughs, Tristan Tsara and listen to Brian Eno and Saul Williams. The mischiefs afoot at ONIWERKS (“Oni” Japanese for Demon and “Werkstatt” being German for Workshop) are can be clearly heard within the grooves of PHREAKER.
The above are reflect the opinion of the writer aura10.
Share your thoughts on Twitter @oniwerks.
Vivienne Westwood creates fashion for the bold, plain and simply said. Her designs have mesmerized us for decades and at the tender age of 76 she continues to delight. Unequivocally and regardless of location (Tokyo, Milan, Manhattan, Helsinki... well you get the idea) when we encounter a woman wearing Westwood in our travels, she is always the best dressed woman in the room. Westwoods designs are quintessentially English, theatrical, instant classics and hyper-punk simultaneously. We love her because she plainly loves what she is doing wholeheartedly.
Despite all of the “Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers and signs, Kronos9 recently discovered that Austin Texas is plenty weird and wonderful. Last month’s visit to the annual South X Southwest Festival attracted a fair influx of non-weird corporate types, tech hipsters and the like. However, the natives were out in force and the bugged out Austin architecture, bars and other immovable fixtures stood tall and weird. This short series is a collaboration between Kronos9 (photography) and Enzo23 (graphics + art). Please enjoy Kronos9 vs Enzo23's AUSTINAUT 2018 - punctuated with random "Oblique Strategies" by Brian Eno + Peter Schmidt.
There are very beautiful things on this planet and teamLab Japan is adding to the volume... big time! Check them out: www.teamlab.art
Oniwerks® is conducting an exhaustive search for phreaker boxes for an upcoming book. So, if you are familiar with the old-school Heathkit catalog, longingly miss the analog telephone networks and have been itching for a build project involving bread boards... your day has come! Choose + build + win fame + $500 USD!
Respond to this opportunity by downloading FREE EBOOK THE Phreaker’s Recipe Book. Choose and build the box that “speaks to you.” snap 5, high resolution photos of the build, tell us in 1,000 words of less why you choose to BUILD THIS PARTICULAR BOX. Then, sign with your Phreaker handle and email everything to email@example.com. We will jury the boxes and award $500 to the winning Phreaker. The winning box will be professionally photographed (we will send a SHIPPING LABEL TO YOU) and featured on the cover of the forthcoming book.
DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 1, 2017
Kronos9 busy composing new analog work at Gramps' (Miami) "Artists in Decadence" series, April 2016. Photography courtesy of Dinna Alexanyan.
Rocket & Wink has long been famous for maximize size and increasing performance. This time they have outdone themselves. They proudly present the Rawman 3000. The first portable vinyl player from the 80s. The Rawman 3000 produces such a big, rich sound, that it only can be compared to a very elaborate and expensive component stereo record player system. Yet, it´s so small that you can take it anywhere you go . There is really no way to convey the remarkable sound quality of this little machine. You´ve got to hear it.
The Rawman comes with featherweight (1.4. oz.), stereo headphones, USB Port, Smartcard, antenna for Bluetooth connection and practical carrying strap. Furthermore an exclusive Hot-Line button which lets you carry-on a conversation or sing along over the music.
"Buy it Once" is a curated collection of 50 modern heirlooms worth of your attention and if possible purchase. During conversation about the modern life we came to realize that the concept of heirloom is simply not part of the conversation any longer. We are all busy chasing the next disposable soon to be obsolete product. Worst yet, we now have the tendency to purchase the same shoddy products over and over and over again. Why not aggregate those multiple purchase costs into one lump sum and buy a modern heirloom once? Ultimately you will save money while cherishing things as mundane as a waste bin.
The Vinyl Factory is producing some of the most beautiful vinyl releases on the planet today. Everything from the most lavish re-issues of classic Hip-Hop, Progress, Electronica and Rock to top notch audiophile ready new releases and box sets. Everything about this company breathes vinyl. Everyone at Oniwerks encourages a visit to their site - if you are a vinyl-head you won't be disappointed.
Kronos9's new collection of broken word poems titled "Code Poet" is on sale now at Amazon.com. The poetry collection is a first for and artist renowned locally for his experimental ambient electronica compositions. However, the poems are no less experimental and eschew traditional structure and typical themes. Starting with a predominantly Haiku as a framework, Kronos9 stylistically breaks apart and remixes the poetic form as a matter of craftsmanship. Broad themes of communication in the age of the internet, technology as fetish and interpersonal mediation are thoroughly explored in "Code Poet."
RECOMENDED LISTENING COMPANION:
Peter Dean Rickards was a much more than a photographer, publisher, Banksy identifier, cinematographer . I knew Peter first and foremost as a keen observer and lover all things culturally valuable to Jamaica. I met Peter when he was publishing the remarkable blog Afflicted Yard (1999-2014). We hit it off immediately because we shared the same interests (humor, culture and a punk DIY approach to expressing one’s perspective). Afflicted Yard was irreverent, funny but most of all brutally honest in it’s assessment of the state of Jamaican culture. It allowed the audience to peek under the hood to great effect. This is something that Peter would continue to accomplish with each new project including the critically acclaimed First Jamaica - perhaps the most beautiful (visually and editorially) magazine ever published in Jamaica.
On December 31, 2014 Peter Dean Rickards succumb to cancer. He remains sorely missed.
Oniwerks® is now accepting pitches for experimental writing such as: short stories,novels, stream of consciousness and other far out ramblings of the mad via twitter. You may become our next published author.