Köhn – Köhn 1

Vinyl (2LP + insert)
Cortizona [CORTIZONA 008]

First time vinyl release of this Belgian electronic cult classic, the debut album from Köhn, originally recorded in 1998 on minidisc, now served up on remastered 2 x 12″ vinyl for the first time, via Cortizona who also re-released that Bernard Szajner LP ‘Some Deaths Take Forever’ >>

Originally out on CD on (K-RAA-K)³ and now packed onto vinyl for the first time via Cortizona Records (both Belgian labels, just operating in different decades) – this one is an obscure gem from around 21 years ago, a very bold and convincing album of experimental songs, with plenty weirdness, and plenty soul in there too.

Cut up samples, recorded sounds and instruments are mangled, tangled and re-arranged in very deft ways by Köhn, across 12 tracks that range from raw sound art, to psychadelic bass guitar and third world harmonic type dirges, into minimalist near-percussive pieces in an impressive balancing act between equal slightly paranoid on-edge type of sounds, perfectly backdropped in more ambient settings at times, or other polar opposites at others.

Each track is convincing for a unique sound and mood to it, but there’s a coherent thread of purposely raw production let’s the intended emotions of each sound stay clear and focused.
Köhn perfectly tunes this mood-swinging production technique and arranges the varying pieces, or songs throughout the album with a dynamic tracklisting that swerves on the edges of coherence in an exciting way –
you never quite know what to expect next, but it’s never ever a disappointing turn, so we’re all good.

The raw production style (As stated in the quote below) makes for a very direct and focused listening experience, with each sound residing in it’s original space, but kind of extracted into a new collaged, multi-dimensional form, and the musical direction of the album also conveys a similar world of unique lifeforms across it’s play time.

“The goal was to make music that was rhythmic but without obvious percussion and drum sounds, to sample anything and hear what was possible or how it would inspire me. No effects, I didn’t want to use any effects like reverb or delay, except as part of the sound. I wanted the sound to be dry and direct. No washes of reverb or sounds
drowning in echo. This was not supposed to be an ambient record. Only the last two tracks were allowed an exception to this. Sounds belong to the room they’re played in. I didn’t want them to be in a space before leaving the speakers. Electronic sounds have no original acoustic space nor are they enhanced by a resonant body before they enter the air through a loudspeaker. I wanted the electronic sounds to be raw in that aspect, no polish or fake space. This, the sound of bedroom production.”
(Excerpt of the included liner notes by Jürgen De Blonde)

Really good gear… it’s kinda ‘quietly symphonic’.

Good for any intrigued ears, but especially for all who enjoyed the C-Schulz record we had here, maybe some Conrad Schnitzler, Christoph De Babalon, or Einsturzende Neubauten, or a bit of Broshuda or O$VMV$M maybe, some of Brenda Ray’s dubbier moments…
All sorts of off-grid styles basically…

21 years on this debut is remastered and released for the first time on vinyl.
Remastered by Gert Van Hoof & Elvin Van Zeebroeck at Cochlea Mastering.
Cut by Dubplates and Mastering Berlin.
Edition of 300 copies with the original artwork and new liner notes by Brecht Ameel (Razen) and Jürgen De Blonde.

TRACKLIST:
Disc 1:
1. Karohte 02:51
2. Köhnepijp 05:49
3. Köhtels 03:29
4. Wortel 05:23
5. Nöhk 04:21
6. Köhnepoht 04:21
7. Köhn Met Pruimen 02:21
Disc 2:
8. Clover 04:17
9. Kodde 03:41
10. Vlaamsche Hangoor 05:12
11. Zoef 07:03
12. Köhnetand 08:37

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