Niall McGuirk on King Champion Sounds‘ Songs For The Golden Hour
What a great format the 10″ record is. Split between the 7″ single and the 12″ is such a neat collection. Easy to handle, even my kids can put this on without getting their fingerprints all over the vinyl. It allows for comfortable packaging and you can even carry it on a plane journey with you. It’s the perfect platform for King Champion Sounds. This is their second release after last years Different Drummer. They have moved to Louder Than War records which has a keen ear out for great new music around Europe.
KCS are from the Netherlands but are multinational in line up and musical influences. They are a band of the John Peel generation, of that there can be no denying. Really the only element of Peel’s show that doesn’t shine here is the doom crust of Napalm Death that the Radio 1 DJ was fond of championing. All else is here: punk, world music, reggae and most definitely The Fall.
It’s the meandering sounds of the King Champion that captures our interest. With his bass hung around his knees, Ajay takes us on a journey with each song. It’s bass lead with a riff taken from John Peel and played over and over again. Ajay must spend so much time trying to perfect the perfect bass groove… and it’s all about the groove here as his bass leads us on a Peter Pan trip through the songs, all of which bar one starts with that deep bass groove attacking our senses and making us move.
Interspersed with brass and the unmistakable voice of GW Sok we are taken in on each song, slowly but surely. GW is still singing about kicking against what is the establishment. Still questioning and asking us to take these questions on whilst we try and look for answers. Songs about whistleblowers (something we are starting to know more about in Ireland) and political figures, sung in a way that is looking for you to find the answers. And just in case you can’t the instrumental Mootoripyörä Matka is there to help us get lost and reflect.
More essential listening.