10 September 2013

Kosheen - Resist

During the late 1990s, carmaker Nissan ran several advertisements for their cars, fusing words together, for example, luxury and affordable to give Luxurable and simple and technology with Simpology. And did you know that Karaoke is a part fusion of kara ("empty") and okesutora ("orchestra")? Might be common usage in the Japanese language everyday but perhaps something that the English speaking world let alone myself might not ever be endeared to.

However, the word fusing concept has given inspiration for trip hop outfit Kosheen, Ko (from the romanticised Japanese for "old") combines with Shin ("new") to give their name. They were formed at the turn of the Millennium in Bristol, by studio engineers Markee Substance, Darren Decoder along with Welsh songstress and songwriter Sian Evans. Their music is mainly comprised of trip hop, breakbeats and includes some simpleton rock.

So, their debut album. Resist was released in 2001 and features no less than 17 tracks, mixing the synths and rhythms up with a few rock based tunes so the beat isn't always the same right throughout. It's also a fair bet that they've chosen to go for limiting the words in their song titles. Harder is an example of Kosheen possibly underselling themselves so I'll briefly explain that it features a few jungle beats with a few changes in them between verse and chorus, like in Hide U for instance. Slip & Slide (Suicide) maintains a feeling of late night electronic moshing, if such a thing exists. Catch, despite the rather underwhelming title suggests its catchiness, and certainly it delivers the goods. Empty Skies has some unashamed heavy mixing of six strings involved with the jungling although Miss Evans makes it clear who has the leads here.

The mode changes in I Want It All as the music becomes a little more organic sounding and more laid back as is Repeat To Fade. The piano and rhythm of Face In The Crowd I am a little ambivalent over however. Do I like it? It's an attractive number but the introduction sounds very much like the opener to Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. It's then back to the breakbeats and decks with Pride but Playing Games appears to be running out of steam towards the business end of Resist and then the final track Gone signs off with multi-layered harmonies and classic guitar.

Resist for me feels rather paradoxical. Where the direction seems to affirm toward dance and rhythm and beats, it then all changes with some acoustic overtones. It does leave me asking myself if the rule of keeping to the same theme should be broken. Maybe from time to time, but for the moment I've enjoyed listening to Kosheen's first offering enough to expect more from them. Fingers crossed.

7.5 out of ten. This is good and well worth a check.

Non Drum n' Bass version of Hide U

Kosheen's activities can be followed here on Moksha's official website here
Listen to Resist here on Spotify
Buy the album here on Amazon

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