K.I.A. Sonorous…Susurrus

K.I.A.’s double album is split between a disc of atmospheric ambience and a second of more upbeat pop and dance hybrids. Susurrus, the ambient disc, contains gentle, spaced-out female vocals, dub elements and occasional acoustic instruments. There are many intriguing tracks, such as the electronic dub of "Howdydaomaori,” the delicate guitar of "Uneunoia” and the slow grooves and trumpet of "Ps/At.” Overall, it’s a minimal, melancholy affair and very enjoyable if you’re in the right mood. The second disc, Sonorous, is the weaker of the two. More upbeat, with more beats, the pieces are there but don’t always fit. It’s like a mainstream producer’s idea of dance music. Still, "Downquark” is good electronic dancehall, "Large Slow River” is good, dubby house, and you’d guess "Rashomon” is by Akufen if your eyes were closed. Of the two, Susurrus is clearly the place to be — it could stand on its own quite well, unencumbered by the half-baked Sonorous. (Neuphoria)