After two singles on Hyperdub, and a release on Soul Jazz, King Midas Sound's â€˜Waiting For Youâ€™ is the debut album from Roger Robinson and Kevin Martin's new group.
In previous collaborations, Roger performed as a highly respected poet, but when he opened his mouth to sing in a fragile falsetto, everything changed and King Midas Sound was born. The signature intenÂsity of their previous solo projects remains, but the mood and feeling is radically different. As opposed to Roger's spoken word pronouncements and The Bug's fierce battleground dancehall, King Midas Sound is more like an opiated aftermath.
â€˜Waiting For Youâ€™ is all about intimacy. Rogerâ€™s falsetto is fragile and vulnerable, a sound somewhere between Gregory Issacs and Vincent Gallo, nestled inside an intimate blanket of bass and vertiginous atmosphere. On three of the album cuts, the duo becomes a trio, as the bittersweet backing vocals of Hitomi (from Dokkebi Q) add a further disorientating swirl around the mix like memories gatecrashing the present.
Two years after Hyperdub released Burial's 'Untrue' it is still rare to find albums packed with such inÂtense and honestly exposed feelings. King Midas Sound often deals with a similar strain of musical melancholia, but instead of hyperemotional haunted garage, â€˜Waitingâ€¦â€™ is absolutely song based, and generates the spectral bliss of a jilted lovers rock, a sublime, heartbreak reggae. We learn quite quickly that the opening fresh breeze of sound system nursery rhyme 'Cool Out' was actually the back draft of an emotional apocalypse. As we move from the yearning title track, to the ital ecology of 'Earth a Kill Ya', to the elevation of the lunar 'Outer Space' and 'Miles and Miles,' the emotional geography opens out into full, dread soul glory, a wasteland populated by songs of psychic meltdown, the sweet toxicity of love, echoed lullabies to the departed and an acidic undertone of resentment -("I wish you luck with a capital F, boy").