In an age where the CD is slowly being phased out in favor of the digital download, K-Space offers the listener an alternative way of presenting music for the future, albeit with the CD as the medium. As if the music itself on their latest effort Infinity isn't eclectic or unique enough on it's own, percussionist Ken Hyder, who leads this trio consisting of Tim Hodgkinson (lap steel guitar, electronics, sax) along with Siberian musician/throat singer Gendos Chamzyryn, have potentially ushered in a new technology in the process. Infinity can only be played on a computer and is manipulated by software that ensures the music is never presented the same way twice. Further examination of the contents of Infinity finds there to be well over a hundred sound files which utilizes said software to recompose the music every time you listen to it, with each listening experience lasting approximately twenty minutes.
The genesis of K-space was born out of Hyder and Hodgkinson's interest in shamanism and how it could alter their approach to both performance and creating music after the duo toured Siberia together in 1990. It was there that they first encountered a group of musicians who were members of a Sun Ra-like band which included Chamzyryn. The band which is named after Russian Astro-Physicist Nikolai Kozyrev, who designed an apparatus that could take you into Kozyrev's Space, first played together as a trio in 1996.
Infinity which is their third release continues K-Space's proficiency of seamlessly blending musical cultures by compiling a veritable sonic potpourri here that is both refreshing as it is intriguing. Comprised largely of field recordings and live performances the listener feels as if he/ she is right in the moment alongside the musicians as the music is being created. To be included in such a way where you feel as if you are part of the whole experience makes this journey all the more magical. One 'experience' began with the crackling of a camp fire as the exotic percussion began to slowly unfold, before some delicate & abstract sounding sax passages overtop the various whisperings of the wind chimes took things in a completely different direction. Another listen revealed what sounded like a shamanistic ritual, complete with pounding native drums, yet ended up in awash in a swirling vortex of sax, buzzing electronics and frantic jazz percussion. The various electronic textures and loops employed throughout, together with Chamzyryn's traditional throat singing, the aforementioned ritual style drumming and exotic instrumentation come together perfectly on Infinity, creating a truly unique musical summit of epic proportions.
While Infinity understandably won't appeal to everyone, if you're looking to broaden your horizons a bit musically then K-Space will be more than willing to provide the soundtrack and take you along with them on their journey. If the music is approached and received with an open mind, the results will prove to be quite remarkable, not to mention splendidly unpredictable as well.