Oh great, here’s another instrumental track that I’m going to inevitably have a hard time reviewing solely for the fact that it is deprived of lyrics. I’ll try my best though! So, Kimika are a post-rock band from Montréal, Canada (making them the second Canadian band I’ve written about today); I’m not sure when they formed, but everywhere I look marks their first official release with the album Bipolaire in 2009. This is their only official single from their second album, 2010’s Octobre – and that pretty much where their discography ends, so far! Yeah, there’s not so much I could find on this bad online, but I do know that they are still touring and possibly still recording.
As I mentioned, Kimika belong in the tradition of post-rock. I listened to post-rock bands way more often in college than I do these days, but I think the best way to describe the genre is one that creates minimal layers of sound and rhythm to evoke a sense of mood and atmosphere, as opposed to relying on riffs and power chords to create a “song”, in the traditional sense. It is often described as “ambient”; on the website for Kimika’s label, Fluttery Records, the band is described as “explosive and subtle, intense and sober”. Judging from this track alone, I say that their style most closely resembles that of Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Mogwai, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Like many post-rock recordings, this one begins with a simple, delicate arpeggio of guitar chords that dwell on quiet repetition to set the stage. Slowly, these are joined by additional sounds, such as steady drums and a droning rhythm guitar that ebbs and flows slowly in the backdrop. Since this is an eight-minute track, the build-up prides itself on being particularly slow and steady, but once the wall of sound begins to fully bare its teeth, with fuzzy guitars and a more intense melodic backing, the payoff seems well worth it. I’ll admit, though, it’s hard for me to recommend a recording like this when more complex, interesting compositions from GY!BE and Mogwai already exist, fill in the same basic elements, and do so to even greater degrees. However, for the post-rock enthusiast, I don’t see any harm in adding another pretty innocuous recording to the collection of instrumental fervor for which the genre is so synonymous.