Genre/Influences: Experimental, Minimal-Electro, Industrial.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: Set up in 1997 by Arnaud Coëffic, Sonic Area released several productions on the artist’s own label Audiotrauma while in recent years he joined hands together with Ant-Zen. “Ki” is taken from the Japanese language and means ‘ joy, sorrow, vigor, courage, cowardice, etc. These are terms used in our daily life. The Japanese see ki as an integral part of all of these’. The album features ten songs revealing several collaborations.
Content: “Ki” is mainly driven by Experimentation, a sonic osmosis between Electronic manipulations and Ambient atmospheres. It’s an album with a wider canvas of influences, which lead the artist to experiment with rather unexpected collaborations. Les Tambours du Bronx contributed to one of the tracks injecting a good-old Industrial percussion touch to the work. The Hint duo has been featured on another cut, which has something mysterious revealing trumpet sounds. Mysterious moods are hanging over the album and especially the opening part is achieved with somewhat Eastern-like elements reminiscent of Dead Can Dance. Some tracks at the last part of the work have something Ritual-like. Several songs are driven by a slow rhythm.
+ + + : I was mainly impressed by the global sound production of the work, which I think is also due to the use of real instruments. Sonic Area stands for a very personal sound, which is hard to label, but definitely diversified and mainly related with an accessible Experimental format and other Industrial elements. The track “Gongwar” featuring Les Tambours du Bronx is an impressive piece of music; Industrial music in the original sense of the meaning. The main strength of “Ki” is its diversity, but also the Minimalism and professional production. The very few vocal parts –by guest singer Jeremy Lemon (Yurodivy) bring a little bonus to the work.
– – – : Diversity is good, but sometimes creating a lack of cohesion between some tracks.
Conclusion: “Ki” stands for an open-minded production although meant to please Experimental- and Industrial lovers.
Best songs: “Gongwar”, “Gardens”, “The Praying Mantis”, “Soot Spirit”.