Kim Boekbinder – The Sky Is Calling (2013)

If you were to triangulate a centre point between New Order, Hawkwind and Lonelady then you’d probably find Kim Boekbinder…

Kim’s songs are about space and suitably electro. They’re dreamy, but wispy and ethereal? No chance! Kim’s music revels in celebratory fashion, hitting you with loud, crisp drums beats and an effervescent pop swoon. If you could take Enya’s obsession with waterfalls ‘n’ stuff, transpose the subject matter with stars and nebulae and what-not, then you probably wouldn’t be too far away…

kim b

‘Stellar Alchemist’. Drums roll in, ready for a ruckus from their place of power. T-Dream electro shimmers and then Kim sashay’s into the room. We get our first taste of her sultry torch vocals, sizzling her way through through the song, thrusting like a velvet piston; hydrogen our heroine.

‘The Sky Is Calling’ is a skeletal trance number, slender keys prancing while breathy vocals slalom. Folding in on itself as an Escher print, this is a song that reveals as it rotates.

‘The Drake Equation’ is pure dance. “How many planets, how many stars” is the chorus, powered and delivered. The beat is irrefutable. You just found your new favourite Friday night anthem.

‘Hand To Mouth’ crashes battle-ready drums over Kim’s sad song to make a piece that wouldn’t seem out of place on Sigur Ros’ Kveikur.

‘Animal’ lyrics can be used to imagine a situation where the android sex replica from Hawkwind’s ‘Spirit Of The Age’ has gotten her own late night spin off, dumped the telepathic loser and jetted off for saucy space-sex antics.

Music wise ‘Animal’ is what would have happened if, when New Order took Donna Summer’s disco sounds and bought it to Manchester, Kim had stepped up to the mic and put all the sex back in. Then spiked the drinks of everyone dancing. Then turned the heat up. Then showered everyone in soap and left them writhing lustily in a mess of tangled limbs and groping hands.

‘To Be Touched’ offers plaintiff, tender space blues, the merest fragments of instrumentation. Kim’s voices floats over brushes and bleeps, solitude and quietude resplendent. Haunting and mysterious.

‘Alien’ floats along, recalling entropic post-punk B sides of yesteryear such as the Bunnymen’s ‘Broke My Neck’, Heaven 17’s ‘Decline Of The West’ or maybe the source itself, Bowie’s Berlin years.

‘Planet 216’ offers siren synths and party hard drums that brings the album end to a rollicking, head nodding end. A lovely, groovy end to the spacey fun…

There’s something wonderfully unknowable about Kim. Kim’s music has touchstones and references but feels like an organic work of an original artist. Rare, too rare in these stratified days.

The secret to this album’s success is clear though, at the throbbing heart of The Sky Is Falling is powerful, modern dance music that simply won’t quit.

If Ziggy Stardust had stuck around for the dance age, it may have sounded a little like this…


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