Katia Krow “The Observer of the Idle Spectacle”

With his first release since January 2021’s incredibly titled debut long-player, I’ve Called Off The Search, I Know Exactly Where You Are, Katia Krow (aka Dubai resident Odi Suood) offers a further soundscape dispatch from the event horizon.

At only 22 minutes long, for a noise/drone hybrid release, this is super respectful of the listener’s time and ends up sacrificing nothing little to atmosphere or world-building by not going full-on epic length. Underlying all four tracks on The Observer of the Idle Spectacle there’s a subtly mutating sound that never definitively settles on being either vinyl pop/hiss, field recordings of rain, or pedal FX distortion. Despite this ‘sort of’ thematic constant, the EP still feels split in half aesthetically. The EP’s first half is strong but deals in very familiar experimental territory, clanking chimes and looped dark drone melodies rise and fall into scalding noise feedback. For about five minutes apiece, these two tracks pleasantly warp between the unsettling black ambience of the void and doses of irregular harsh speaker burn. 

It’s the final two tracks here that really distinguish the record from the crowd, as well as from each other and the rest of the EP. At under two minutes, ”The Witness of the Inane Descent” begins with the familiar haze between rain and noise before it peaks swiftly upwards into the red treble. As a rhythm sparks over the steam of sound, piano notes drip in the background only for it to be snipped sharply into silence; deliberately short drone pieces always seem to intrigue. 

Closing piece “The Acolyte of the Surreal Subsistence” continues with the red thread of crackle sounds but swiftly switches into a piano melody amongst the metallic drone swells. Expansive in its breadth and beauty, the piece swirls through several different acts including recordings of underground water streams and a gentle piano coda. These two final tracks feel like soundscape work done away from the genre’s heavy and lengthy signature moves, made without a template in mind and putting the experiment back in the mix of elements.

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