Published Dec 01, 2014Since the late '90s, Jason Köhnen has rained down the fiercest of ragga jungle under the name of Bong-Ra. Later, he helped realize the darkjazz concept along with Gideon Kiers at the helm of the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and the Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. Sadly, in 2013, Köhnen and Kiers went their separate ways after 12 years of collaborative ground-breaking, but once that kind of mystical music gets into you, it never leaves. With that black fuel burning in his veins, Köhnen threw his hat back in the darkjazz ring with The Thing With Five Eyes, a project whose debut EP dropped in the latter half of 2014. The style on نور (which means "Glory") is a little more open than TKDE, further encompassing Köhnen's wide range of influences, channelling everyone from Miles Davis and Alice Coltrane to Saint Vitus and Electric Wizard though his breakcore lens, but doubtful to alienate any existing fans of the genre.
There's an immediacy to "Amzha" as the drums start pounding under a glitched pad fade-in, landing on sweeping strings textured with digital distortion. As this section dissipates about four minutes in, the track takes a turn with upright bass, plucked strings, demonic bass and Squarepusher-esque breakbeat evisceration dissolving into paranoid piano and ominous brass, leaving the final couple minutes to resolve on an evolving ambiance of strings and synth. There are traces of gamelan in the intro and conclusion of "Sanhkara," sandwiching demented upright bass, pensive guitar picking, choral moans and a sick uptempo breakbeat peak that evokes the classic "Mind of a Killer" by Polar. "Meduxae" rounds out the EP with something of a lounge feel thanks to the brushes tickling its lazy drums, a distant rumble and distorted horn section lending it an apocalyptic edge; bonus track "Khazar" sounds innocent enough with its acoustic guitar, but the explosively murky bass that kicks in around the three-minute mark leaves no survivors in its wake. Every moment of every track evokes its own ominous cinematography. Somewhere, David Lynch is working on a project that needs this as its soundtrack. (Svart Lava)