Capitol K Island Row

There's nothing quite like Capitol K. On Island Row, Capitol K's second full-length (and first domestic one in North America), the music sounds so full and complex that you could lose your mind trying to figure out what all of the different noises are. Kristian Craig Robinson is the madman behind the music, and is someone who obviously likes layers. What makes Capitol K so special from all of the rest is how the music is transformed from a beat-heavy piece of IDM into a straightforward pop song. Robinson obviously shares a love for both dance music and indie/pop/rock/folk, but unlike a lot of artists, he makes it work. He spreads a large amount of guitar overtop of some really weird samples, yet the majority of it is used in the most unorthodox way. A track like "City" opens with a delayed guitar riff, followed by piano, breakbeats and so on, fading out the guitar and bringing it back minutes later for some heavy solos. Much of the time certain sounds get lost in the shuffle, but they generally return in a different form later on in the recording. Robinson's nicely placed vocals also fit in well wherever he lays them, with "Pillow" following a verse-chorus-verse formula, whereas "God Ohm" scatters them all over, making them sound a little too unsettling. Island Row is the sound of a diverse artist with some great potential. (Beggars Banquet)