Leeds Music Scene

s/t by Kyte

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Reviewed on 4th February 2008.



By Kyte

Kyte have been floating around for a wee while now, but with precious little in the way of released material. Now the self-titled long player has dropped through the front door, it's time to encourage those of you whose clutches their flighty soundscaping may have eluded to reel in a copy for yourselves.

OK - enough of the poor punning already; these guys deserve better. Lets talk about the music, but at the same time not wholly cast aside the sonic imagery conjured up by their well chosen moniker. Make no mistake - this is well crafted stuff, but it has an organic feel to it. There is an ebb and flow to the music but, unlike some of bands with whom they may well be compared (and yes - I'm looking at you, Sigur Rós), do not expect it to turn upon a sixpence from ambient sparsity to cathartic guitar-driven Armageddon.

This collection of tunes is unlikely to embarrass you at an unfortunate moment during your dinner party, or confound an elderly relative with a deluge of discordant feedback just when you were trying to persuade her that "not all rock music's rubbish, Auntie..." But whilst the album may be devoid of those down-and-dirty prog wigouts that lurk forgotten half way through your average Mogwai album, it is anything but bland. Split roughly 50/50 between vocal and instrumental numbers, the beguiling nature of the music is derived from the intensity of varied repetition.

Leaving aside the aforementioned rock comparisons, the closest parallel brought to this reviewer's mind is the later film-score work of Michael Nyman. Whilst this probably isn't the coolest name to drop, anyone who happened to pick up his Wonderland soundtrack will know what can be achieved with simple ideas looped out over several minutes of gradual expansion without ever needing to go over the top. Kyte seem to be playing an electronic take on such orchestral themes.

I admit that, seen live, Kyte can leave you pondering what to do with your arms in an era that eschews thoughtful chin-stroke and prohibits by statute (within our beloved venues) the moody cigarette. However, in the comfort of your own home, this LP can - and will - transport you to a better place. And whilst living your whole life in the recumbent land of 6+ minute tracks may eventually leave you gasping for a couple of quadruple whiskies and a pair of pints, downed in half an hour to the sound of the entire Ramones back catalogue, there is a less hurried place that may occasionally be visited without shame. This month, ladies and gentlemen, that place is soundtracked by Kyte.



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