Swiss/ Lebanese duo Praed aren’t interested in building things slowly and developing their music over time on their fourth album. Not at all. They’re all about the bombast, they’d rather drop you midway, or perhaps mid frenzy into electronic maelstrom of electronic beats, electrics and clarinet. Their sound is heightened, psychedelic chaabi (Arabic popular music), electrified, relentless – these hyper energized slabs of breathless energy.
In our review of their previous album, 2016’s Fabrication of Silver Dreams, we suggested that the duo were ‘very much aware of the ecstatic moment,’ in their music, where everything felt directed towards a noisy chaotic ecstatic near spiritual frenzy. This focus hasn’t shifted; here they’re able to achieve this without the usual tropes of increased density or volume. Doomsday Survival Kit is less noisy than its predecessor, with the duo opting for long form pieces – the title track alone clocks in at seventeen and a half minutes and the relentless beat doesn’t falter for a second. It’s within this ironclad structure that the clarinet, keys, samples, electronics and vocals weave in and out. Motifs come and go, before being welcomed back, and all the while the momentum continues. It’s a similar recipe for much of the album, where they’ll set up frantic beats and refuse to let go.
This is high tempo music, bombastic and chaotic, such is the energy you could be convinced that it’s a recording of a live performance – the repetition of the electronic elements conjuring up a unique punch drunk hypnotism. The presence of woodwind within this maelstrom is fascinating, where with a little run or delicate flourish Paed Conca’s clarinet can totally alter the direction and feel of the music. His interplay with Raed Yassin’s electronic elements is what makes this music so special. Despite the long running times of three of the four pieces, there’s never a dull moment, the duo incredibly adept at adding the right ingredient at the right time, at weaving elements in and out.
Make no mistake Doomsday Survival Kit is an assault on the senses. It will grab you by the throat and it wont let go. It’s a unique, loud high tempo form of psychedlia designed to simultaneously hypnotise and get the endorphins flowing.