New Music: Spankeol
16 December 2016
How’d we miss this?
Apparently someone called Mounaeir Kiers has been releasing some pretty interesting music under the mouthful moniker Spankeol since April earlier this year. We’re ashamed to say that missed the boat entirely at the time, but (better late than never) we’ll just talk about it now.
Providing a condensed description of Kier’s music is difficult but doable - irreverent, aberrant, asocial, experimental (mostly) art-rock, with recognisable elements of punk, jazz and noise (so probably post-something).
He released ‘I’ before the first quarter of 2016 was up and followed it with soundtrack-to-everything-that’s-terrible ‘II’ before the more recent ‘III’ (we are aware that the album titles aren’t the most imaginative).
‘I’ sucked us right in. Distorted trumpet and deranged drums form the foundation for some surprisingly evocative, soulful and heated melody, warm elements of jazz and a couple of incoherent vocal samples. The mood is still distinctly miserable and very punk, but apart from a couple of misses (10 minute long ‘Samuchit Collage’s wailing women come across as a bit contrived) it’s easy to settle into quickly and enjoy.
His most recent release ‘III’ is comparatively a lot more ordered and sort of seemed like it had more of a point to it, as an album (centring around two cities - our lovely, choking capital and Mumbai). The latter half seems also to have a fairly larger jazz influence, though slotting it under any category feels counterintuitive. It’s a complete pulverization of styles.
Spankeol’s sound works because it balances complexity and darkness with jarringly bright crescendos, cheeky, playful alarms and honeyed melody to tie it all together. An organised, thought-out and structured illusion of chaos.
Words: Diya Gupta