Dark Planet, by ‘kirchenkampf’
John Gore’s ‘kirchenkampf’ project has long been known and admired by me for producing consistent, high-quality conceptual electronic space music. The characteristic ‘kirchenkampf’ release draws on influences from early electronic pioneers such as Subotnik, Parmegiani, the Barrons and Tangerine Dream, composing vast experimental sound-paintings with a strong central theme. His releases often follow a story structure hinted by the song titles and fleshed out with abstract, yet evocative electronic sounds. He is in top form on the new ‘kirchenkampf’ release “Dark Planet”
The CD opens quietly with a long drifting drone titled “In Transit”, suggesting an awakening ship coasting through open space, and by the second track “Homesick”, a human element is introduced suggesting a deep melancholy in the crew after a long, cold voyage.
The mood changes considerably on the title track. It seems that they’ve drifted into the orbit of an extraordinary planet, one that demands to be explored. The remainder of the CD explores the planet’s mysterious and frightening geography, its hungry caverns, its hissing fumaroles, its monoliths and volcanoes, “Terrorform” finally suggesting that they are not alone in this world. Serpentine figures lash out of the fog, etching curlicues in the air. As the story resolves, Gore describes, “The moon rises and bathes the planet with reflected light. Now they sit and wait for the first sunrise.”
Another accomplished release from this venerable artist. I highly recommend it.
It is available through Cohort Records as a physical CD, or a download.