Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reviews:: The Kyrie K Groove (aka Kyrie Kristmanson)

The Kyrie K Groove is the moniker for the stylings of Kyrie Kristmanson and I'm not sure you will find a more ambitious recording anytime soon. Her record - The Kyrie K Groove - manages to blur the lines that might naturally divide a creative, staccato noise maker like Bjork and a more traditional jazz vocalist from eras long since gone. This hybrid means Kyrie's vocals are delivered over stand up bass runs and horns, but the sounds are usually fragmented in creative, often bizarre ways.

Personally, I think the results speak for themselves, but I am sure they aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea. While energetic and exciting, Kyrie's main goal is not accessibility. The rapid fire delivery on Eruption! matches up to it's title, benefiting from the picked notes and angry strums of the acoustic , the let your fingers do the walking stand up bass line and horns, creating more of a rag tag jazz session that forces the energy to an almost dangerous level. Instead of continuing the frantic pace, she opts for an emotional French ballad (Oh, Montmotre) that uses only the simplest of accompaniment and a surprisingly nice, gentle crescendo.

Kyrie isn't nothing if not bold, with a free form styles that seem to be put together on a whim. Symmetry has all the components of a spoken word piece in a seedy jazz club, filled with high balls and floating billows of smoke. The sexy slink of the track is amazing, but you'd be hard pressed to think a song with such a concise existence and high impact would be on the same record as the 20+ minute meander that is Hemaneh.

The thing is, it works. The theatrical nature of Hemaneh simply let's Kyrie move along a new path. The freestyle pushes the limits of listener comfort, with it's blatant unwillingness to conform to structure. Plucked notes and a slow drawn bass provide the subtle back drop for her narrative, but the song morphs into a combination of sounds, ideas and false starts. It kind of reminds me of the first time I heard The Tain, as it caught me off guard and was incredibly hard to digest, but both rewarded the patient listener in subtle ways.

I think Kyrie shows her understanding of her songs, by following up her opus with a catchy, dare I say simple song. Sure Concrete Speed is still a long song that takes lots of liberties, but it's one of the easiest listens on the record. It's not much more than guitar, bass, some horn work and a nice narrative (like most songs on this I guess), but the song follows the path you'd expect, letting you settle into the 5-minute closer and feel relaxed and fulfilled when the last notes plays.


As an extra special treat, here's a hour long set she performed @ Zeke's in June. The MP3s are only divided by set, so the d/l is pretty harsh, but it's well worth it. She can be completely captivating with only some finger snaps and a stomped beat, and she ends the show with Eruption! and a nice take on Cohen's Hallelujah.

Traveling East | Wind Rocks Pine | My Country | Jump! | Origin of Stars |HemaneH |Mad Cowboy | Add it up |Prairie Man |Comet of Desire (29:59 41 MB)

Wicked Wind | Who | The Holy | What the Night Hides | Dieu du Vent 1608 |Symmetry |Well it's true that we love one another | Pagan Love | Eruption! | Hallelujah (36:01 49MB)

Posted at 11:27 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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