Ko Plune is a four piece experimental band from Southampton who’s musical knowledge and understanding is not only surprising but uplifting. Auditory Atlas, their latest EP merges a number of musical influences and genres whist reminding us that all the concept of writing music is based on flirting with different styles and emotions whilst remaining vulnerable to the outcome. This EP sounds well researched and makes for easily listening whilst simultaneously taking part.

Rare Error has a naïve charm to it with its less than perfect guitar work; the carefully written intro introduces new instruments over time which creates a layered effect that isn’t cluttered.  The vocalist has a mid-range controlled voice that seems to act as a conductor for the rest of the band. At times, this track can seem a little scattered which can make it a little difficult to listen to however there are some very interesting song writing themes throughout the track and you can tell from this first song that the vocalist has a fresh talent that should be challenged. There are some extremely haunting vocals during the bridge which are slightly pushed to background by the over use of echo pedals, nevertheless the extra texture if brings to the track is welcomed.

My favourite track on this EP ‘Panda’ will probably stay with me for a while, although the intro could do with a bit of work but again clarity is the issue here. At time it seems as if there is too much going on and it drowns out the easiness of the intro melodies. The vocalist’s abilities are proving very strong in this song, as it’s far less faucalized. The first chorus takes a surprisingly jazzy turn, which is being mirrored by the vocalist as they all move into a new genre. There is a point, part way through where it sounds as if the vocalist is singing Neo Soul to the background of an experimental indie band, almost sounds like a cover, the true talent in her young voice is shown throughout this song.  

I feel as if this song has a lot more potential that it’s been allowed to have.  The Spanish guitar influences in the second part of the song could do with smoother performance. This track does sound like more of a one take however it does keep with the impression of seeing this band live, I can hear undertones of South American vibes and influences in parts of the song which give it more depth.

‘Red’ starts off with a more classic rock influence, still struggling  with the production just not as much with the previous two songs, the vocalist is being drowned out slightly by the cluttered sound of the rest of the band, despite all this I can hear strong song writing skills hidden by a lack in musicianship which is unfortunate. This song has under tones of The Mars Volta, the use of effects pedals and unusual techniques lend to creating a sound which when honed and worked on will affect many music fans in new ways.

 ‘Hydra’  The vocalist is more comfortable with her voice in this track, fluttering around the lyrics with ease as if she has no insecurities in her voice whatsoever, which is what I was begging for in a few of the previous songs. Once again the production does let it down however at this point this is a minor detail as the song writing abilities and more importantly vocal abilities of the vocalist take over and you bob and weave with her.  At time taking risks with her voice, this is the strongest song so far, not my favourite but the strongest.

The last track on the EP ‘Macchiato’ serves as a natural end to this refreshing album. Beginning with a laid back jazzy theme, the clarity on the vocals on this track cleanly leads the rest of the band through this song. Bright melodies running through this track by the guitarist go against the mood of the vocalist who sounds as if she’s in some sort of inner turmoil at times. All musicians on this track give each other space to create and breathe musically allowing for each part to be fully heard and understood throughout the song. Ending rather quickly, it proves as a testament to the song writers abilities to give the song a natural end.

Using a wide range of instruments, talents and musical influences spanning genres from across the globe this band have created a sound I haven’t heard in a while, something that takes little to no time getting used to yet at the same time is an acquired taste flipping seamlessly between genres over different decades without losing the essence of their own sound.  They have come across something that is so niche it may just last a while longer than most new bands could ever hope. The strong vocals being cushioned by a back drop of such experimentalism shown by the rest of the band creates a holistic approach to song writing and song listening. Having to consume such a wide range of emotions and influences forces the listener to strain at times to attempt to understand the complexities of the music that has been produced. Appropriate for many genre specific music fans as well as those who are attracted to differences within music, the intelligence knitted within each instruments parts creates an anthology of techniques rarely heard in modern music. Not playing around with extreme time signatures as most experimental bands do, the music is still interesting to those who are not well versed in music and music theory as well as astonishing to those who are.

 

 

Ko Plune have recently performed their EP in its entirety, to view click the following link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ONv_4MLNFc

https://koplune.bandcamp.com/ 

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you can contact Ko Plune by email here ko.pluneofficial@gmail.com
Image credits to Beth Warne