There is something aggressive to Kaya North’s dark ambient percussive throb. Myths begins with ‘The Temple (Hymn)’, which does feels ceremonial, yet it’s the kind of ritual that you sense is imbued with bloodletting. The drums are heartbeat stark, insistent, metronomic, and the atmospheres that swirl beneath them are similarly bleak. It’s hard not to be reminded of a ritualistic sacrifice or pre war ceremony. You’ve seen the fictionalised films of Mayan sacrifices, Nordic folklore, or American Native War parties – this is the soundtrack. Yet it also feels like something deeper is at play. It’s difficult to escape the darkness at the core of Kaya North, the music is determined to unsettle, and in a sense provoke, attempting to tap into something deep and primal in the listener.
It’s the work of French artist Caleb R.K. Williams who is part of (or perhaps all of) The Eagle Stone Collective. He records under various names in both solo and other incarnations under names like Cholla Cholla, Likvaka, Proto Echo, Grande Plaine and his own name – amongst numerous others. He describes his work as being ‘on the edge of Americana ambient, drone and other experimentation, ’ and speaks of the natural world as a major source of inspiration.
You can hear this link to the at times bleak and destructive power of the natural world. In fact perhaps it’s this effort to commune/communicate/pay hommage to nature that could be mistaken for the aforementioned aggression and bloodletting, because this music doesn’t necessarily feel imbued with any kind of malice. The non percussive pieces are quite fascinating too, such as the dark frayed synthetic ambience of ‘Rise to the Marble’, where music the blooms in waves and feels like the wind howling and lashing an exposed outcrop. This feels powerful, ancient, and primordial.
Kaya North, feels intricately interconnected with the powerful forces that forged, destroyed and reshaped the earth, as well as the forces that lie deep within ourselves hidden from view that shape and reshape us. It’s an at times unnerving listen, but its uniquely powerful and cathartic.
This album is part of Lost Tribe Sound’s 11 album subscription series, ‘Maps to Where the Poison Grows,’ that also contains the likes of Claire Deak, From the Mouth of The Sun and Drawing Virtual Gardens amongst others. You can find out more here.