Review: Rene Kita – Fraught Mackerel (self-released, Feb 12)

Turku artist Rene Kita, whose “main purpose in life is to draw one million faces before [they] die,” has given me and presumably at least some others a splendid, joyous gift with Fraught Mackerel. Though it barely crosses the 11-minute mark, the release feels dizzyingly expansive, stuffed to bursting with the kind of sonic density that’s just the right sort of exhausting. Many of the bite-sized segments, despite being at their cores coldly digital, have a delirious woodland effervescence that I associate with a lot of the Finnish abstract music I love, and a few are straight up magical (just listen to “Feral Molochs”; I was not being flippant with my use of “joyous”). Both within each track and as a whole, the album is undoubtedly full of nonsensical chaos, and yet—whether from our brains, the actual music, or both—even on a first listen plenty of patterns emerge: bouncing rhythms shattered into sparkling shards that do their best to reform the whole, who-knows-how-many different melodies trying and failing (or succeeding?) to coexist. But for the most part…. “Such a pretty mess, don’t you think?”

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