Album Review: Kandodo - Kandodo

Image source: The QuietusKandodo is the side project from Simon Price of Bristol band The Heads. A collection of nine ambient instrumentals inspired by Price's youth, spent growing up in Africa (Kandodo being the name of a Malawi supermarket he used to shop in).

The impact of Africa on this album is inescapable. These pieces of music are all fairly simply made with a combination of guitars, pedals, keyboards and some ambient field noise but the result is an album of claustrophobic heat and dusty plains. The sound calls to mind krautrock and drone with a dash of Eno. At times it is cinematic but even when it isn't this is perfect head music for losing yourself to and when it is good it is truly spectacular.

And nowhere is that more evident than on the gentle opener, the beautiful 'Dawn Harmonix'. As a warm hum gradually builds there is a delicate interplay between a guitar and base, each growing more and less distorted throughout. Things are somewhat darker elsewhere, the title track, for example, a messy melange of guitar feedback and reverb.

Overall this is a fairly noisy affair, disconcerting and slightly abrasive in places before yielding to moments of melody. Kandodo is consistently atmospheric though and the swirling textures recreate shifting sands and a thick sense of separation across long journeys. It's a wonderful trip.

Kandodo is released on Thrill Jockey on 11 June, available for pre-order from on CD and LP [affiliate links].