As admirable as sonic innovation can be, for every Animal Collective or Radiohead there are a hundred lesser acts churning out music that is edgy but nigh on impossible to listen to. Sadly, Raisa K (aka Raisa Kahn) fall into this latter category, although the Feeder EP is not completely without merit.
Khan is signed to Technicolour, the new label of house experimenter PhOtOmachine, yet there is nothing on Feeder of a floor-friendly bpm. Instead Khan opts for a noisier version of the wonky pop of the kind that Broadcast specialised in. There is also more than a hint of Trish Keenan's detatched delivery in Khan's vocals. Despite these superficial similarities, however, Raisa K has none of Broadcast's redeeming prettiness. Certain songs seem almost perversely abrasive, especially the opener, 'Repetition'. This track features a jaunty rhythm, jarringly dissonant keys and nursery rhyme like vocals. It's immediately clear that Raisa K isn't here to provide much immediate listening pleasure.
The problem isn't that the music is too challenging; it's just too alienating, and completely deficient in the tunes department. Listening to this EP from start to finish will leave you hankering for some serenity after its restless tempos, clangorous rhythms and general excessive noise. There is no 'new territory' being mapped here, just many experiments, the vast majority of which are unsuccessful.
The EP isn't completely devoid of merit - songs such as 'Feeder' and 'Intro' have a certain twisted charm. The latter, especially, contains some interesting sections, and enlightens those among us who wondered what dub-step would sound like if made by banging bin lids together. (It's cacophonous and messy - in case you're wondering). The nearest the EP comes to a decent melody is in stuttering closer, 'Seasick Sailor.' This is the pick of the instrumental tracks on Feeder, and generally these songs are less bad. They don't suffer from Kahn's archly detached vocals, and instead showcase her undoubted skill in creating textured, creeping electronic sounds.
What's most frustrating is that there is potential for interesting music here, it's just that that Kahn seems to have a tiny concentration span, and a vehement disgust for anything easy on the ear. All of which make for a challenging, yet unrewarding listen.
4Tim Peyton's Score