Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Andrew King & Brown Sierra - The Kraken (2010)

artist: Andrew King & Brown Sierra
release: The Kraken
format: 12″
year of release: 2010
label: DAIS
dur­a­tion: 20:53

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

As on their pre­vi­ous col­lab­or­a­tion Thalas­so­cracy, Andrew King and Brown Sierra team up to com­bine tra­di­tional Brit­ish song with noise and abstract sound. The theme of naut­ical song was also con­tin­ued on this latest release, an EP con­tain­ing four new works.

The Kraken”, a piece writ­ten by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, depicts the raw power of the sea, and it is cast in a rolling, power­ful mono­logue by the aural artists here, not unlike King’s staple piece “Proto-Aza­zel”. In the back­ground, the Kraken (or the sea) roars in surges of noise, which give way to the second piece, an instru­mental exer­cise by Brown Sierra solo. We are treated to the unusual and evoc­at­ive sound of the Pyro­phone [wiki], which describes the des­ol­a­tion and eerie nature of open sea.

Proper folk song can be found on side B, where King presents two rel­at­ively unknown tra­di­tion­als deal­ing with Brit­ish sea­far­ing his­tory. The first, where he is assisted by Brown Sierra again, deals with the event­ful jour­ney of the Bold Prin­cess Royal and its crew, which nar­rowly escapes from an encounter with pir­ates. The final track is a lament for Lord Nel­son and a dis­cus­sion of what monu­ment to build for the man. This piece appeals to me most, in its sparse set­ting, with in the back­ground only the gentle four-second tick­ing of the clock in the Old Royal Naval Col­lege in Green­wich. The song is drawn-out, soft, and con­vin­cing.

In all, this is a very nice addi­tion to the col­lec­tion of any­one who enjoyed earlier work of these artists together, or Andrew King solo. For oth­ers, per­haps less so, as it takes a pre­dilec­tion for both bare-bones folk and exper­i­mental sounds to truly enjoy records like this.

Reviewed by O.S.


1. Andrew King & Brown Sierra -  The Kraken (3:00)
2. Brown Sierra - Abysmal Sea (4:59)

3. Andrew King & Brown Sierra - The Bold Prin­cess Royal (stolen ver­sion) (5:10)
4. Andrew King - The Death of Nel­son (Nel­son’s Monu­ment) (7:44)