Drunken Kong explosive output continues with their very purposefully hitting debut album.
Drunken Kong have been nothing but sensational in the recent years. Each month it seems we are treated to a Drunken Kong release, remix or DJ set and they never disappoint. They have to be considered are and one of the most consistent production outfits in the modern era, and not only with great quality also unique flare.
The act is the collaborative pairing of D. Singh and DJ Kyoko from Tokyo. Its duo that’s been creating and infectious spark across the clubbing fraternity with real immensity and its something that just doesn’t slow down.
Both partners are from a DJ background which as already seen the two play alongside key players such as Mauro Picotto, Speedy J, Gabriel Ananda, Gary Beck D-Nox and Beckers, Guy J, Axel Karakasis, D-Unity and they continue to grow in this area.
Their release form is super impressive with releases and remixes on Transmit recordings, Funk’n Deep, Organism, Terminal M and of course Tronic. They are very much a DJ favorite with likes of Adam Beyer, D-Unity, Richie Hawtin, Bark Skills, Christian Smith and many other championing their sound.
One thing I love about Drunken Kong is they have their own very unique sonic signature. The sound holds a lot of depth, punch, great rhythmical content and its never ear fatiguing.
I have personally played a fair amount of Drunken Kong tracks in my own sets as a DJ and would always look forward to sporting a new release from them.
To try pigeonhole is duo as purely Techno or Tech House artists I think would be wrong as they interject a lot of influences in their music and it would be better just to say – its not house, its not techno “Its Drunken Kong”
Getting into the tracks we have 12 featured starting with the title track “The Signs Within”.
Like a lot of electronic albums this starts in more of a soundtrack fashion with a “Blade Runner “ esque theme. But unexpectedly just as you fall into a dreamscape state it pounds into to techno groove action intensely.
It continues with varying elements of the intro theme layered over the groove, cool shuffle hats and a dark filtered vocal sample. It’s supremely produced and really hits that middle ground between a sasha style intro to pounding Adam Beyer immensity.
Next I was very excited to see a collaboration with “Christian Smith” titled “Shiki”.
This one gets straight into groove action from the start with what I probably would detect as more of a Smith influence and his very definable percussive work.
There’s nice stereo work in the mix on this one with lots of dynamic peaks / troughs and a baseline reminiscent of 80’s house.
Next is “As It” and here we get into a more tribal esque sounding percussion from the start. It’s got a looser feel than the prior tracks and plays a larger focus on live played style loops.
It’s very building whilst using great drum rolls to introduce the next section of the track, which at these points just grows bigger. Its king of house meets tech house with a hint of Spanish Latino.
“Life we Knew” is the fourth track and one which pumps straight into a cleaner techno sound. It features nice funky filtered sample sounds before building to more drum intensity.
Its quite dark in its own way but not over exaggerated and has a vocal that carries the theme of the track.
Next we have “Resist” which takes on a different genre with Break Beats. It starts with a fantastic arpeggiated style bass whilst cleverly worked breaks build the energy levels up to a driven force. There are acidic elements, which give it a bit of a 90’s appeal but used in a modern way and again vocal samples that fit the theme of the track.
It’s a different style for Drunken Kong but produced equally as well as to what we have become accustom to hearing from this talented duo.
Track 6 – is the middle point of this album and continues the excitement of what we have already heard. Its titled “Inside Out” and electronic music fans will be delighted to hear it’s a collaboration with no other that the super hot “Victor Ruiz”.
This one has a bit more of a progressive feel to it as its not as heavily worked in the drums areas. It’s also a little bit more transient then the prior tracks but still holds a lot of intensity and an infectious dark lead that takes over keeping you totally homed in.
“Perfect Dominance” is the next title and continues on with another modern techno exhibit.
It builds with some unique percussive elements and a nicely worked arpeggiated synth.
Once again its one which I can see appealing to the progressive house arena as well as tech heads as it’s crosses the boundaries between both very well. There’s a neatly worked middle break down mid track with good atmosphere and a dynamic build back to the groove.
Now as we are about to hit tack 8 we realize there are still four more tracks to enjoy.
This one is titled “Secret Garden” which in title prompts thoughts of a flowery ambient type soundscape. In contrast its actually more kick drum fueled driven energy but with a deep transient mood. Its worked around an almost subtle organ style riff that continues throughout whilst varying synth lines are overlaid.
It’s very hypnotic and progresses to a unique middle section with an almost Arabic sounding type pipe / modulated synth. It’s a very absorbing the more you listen keeping you locked in.
Up next is “Walk With Us’ which slows the tempo down and works around an 80’s style synth bass. Like lots of the “Drunken Kong” productions there’s lots of rhythmical content here but used more in a subtle fashion with a focus smaller 808 style sounds.
It builds very nicely whilst introducing chord stabs, atmosphere FX and once again taking you to a featured middle break down to break up and build back to the groove.
We are nearing the closing tracks of the album now and its back to underground techno groove display with “The Rhythm”. This one has that Drumcode esque sound to it with a darker minimal percussive feel.
It’s very focused on the weight of the kick drum and rumbling bass whilst included chord hits, atmosphere sounds and other synth elements are neatly embedded behind. Its got great dynamics with short breaks teasing in / out that emphasizes the weight of the drums when it fires back in.
Track 11 is next on what as been a monstrous listening experience so far and this one is titled “Mission”
“Mission” has a bit more bounce to it than the prior and funkier in a techy way. It crosses to the tech house / prog arena a bit more and is sonically warm. Still very club groove orientated but does also provide a listening experience with interest.
The closing track of the label is titled “A New Day” and really winds down what’s been quite a powerful exhibit of unique groove and clever production. Its beat-less and more focused as an ambient soundtrack with dreamy atmosphere. It’s a great closing piece of art that showcases the versatility of the artist as you could also imagine this one being on an 80’s film.
Synopsis, A fantastically produced album that is very relentless in groove, energy, intensity and excitement. Its very clever in how it’s sonically shaped and detailed in an unobvious way, full of creative flare and varied within its own boundaries.
Definitely one that DJs will pick through and select a bunch of track to feature in their sets but also if you enjoy just the listening experience you will be very surprised if you just hit play and listen from start to finish.
Blue Amazon Rated 9.5/10