Review: Kamon Kardamom – Chronic Euphoria (self-released, Aug 1)

I’m not yet sure what to call this style of superpowered, complex, often maximalist form of electronic and electroacoustic improvisation that has been cropping up in various unlikely places this year—Beauson’s first two releases and Concrete Gazebo’s Peacock Juice Box, to name a few—but I do know I’m digging it. Kamon Kardamom is a (presumably) new trio consisting of Hungarian musicians Bálint Bolcsó, Orsolya Kaincz, and Máté Labus, and for Chronic Euphoria, their inaugural full-length they route toy turntables, sewing machines, amplified objects, and other doohickeys through a system of analog effects and digital processing that converts inconsequential clunk and clatter to flexible, high-velocity electronic tendrils. After the hyperactive density of the first two tracks (“Baby Robots’ Dance” turns out to be a more fitting title than one would think), “Just Distancing” begins with a hearty helping of fecund emptiness, an empty but well-tilled field out of which formidable stalks slowly begin to snake: long, stretching strands of sheening plastic; effervescent electrical discharge; pressurized spouts of various fumes and gases. The way this piece evolves from sparse, ephemeral atmospherics to immersive tactility is quite amazing, and it somehow happens both gradually and all at once, like poured water simultaneously filling and disintegrating a hole dug in the sand. Brief snatches of voice also play a minor role in the trio’s unique interactions, adding to the feeling of sieved and sculpted totality that permeates the entire release: there’s so much to discover within each and every moment.