If the photo on the album cover is anything to go by, unless I give a positive review I stand a very good chance of HK 119 coming round my house to kick my head in. Oh well, here goes...
HK119 comes from Finland, by way of Iceland (and yes, Björk does say nice things about her). Apparently she’s best mates with Alison Goldfrapp as well, and as a performance artist has built quite a reputation. On record, she comes across as a cross between Debbie Harry and Grace Jones - clipped vocals over an electronic backbeat at times, but also capable of holding a tune and the odd tender moment. Mostly though, just of being a bit odd.
Electronics and women do go well - Goldfrapp of course, and also the fantastic Electribe 101. And it has to be said that HK 119 has some really great songs. "Censor Me" is superb, a gentle, delicate song, where HK sounds vulnerable and frail. "Malfunction" as well is wonderful, a calamitous rage of pounding drums and pulsing beats. "In Valid" takes the electronic sound in an excellent direction; popping drums and crunchy bass sizzling on this short but sweet track. Electronics play a vital part, and are acknowledged throughout - barely a moment passes without the sound of ringtones, fax machines and general electronica adding to the mix.
It doesn't always work though, "Neurotica" for one is pretty average, Siouxsie Sioux vocals and an annoying keyboard whine taking this song nowhere. "Excess" also just sounds embarrassing, like an old fashioned attempt to shock that just does not work. And "Taysikuu" is just stupid. That said though, I really liked songs like "Candelabra", an excellent piece of music reminiscent of Kate Bush, and "Pick Me Up"; a sexy, sassy track with heavy vocoder.
Whilst not in the same league as Goldfrapp, there is some good stuff on this album, not enough though to make it that worthwhile. It's the sort of album you can neither love, nor hate. And I'm not just saying that to avoid a beating.
Last updated: 19/04/2018 06:18:57