Review: Flaamingos / The KVB – ‘Split EP’

flaamingos the kvb split ep

Flaamingos / The KVB

Split EP (felte)

8/10

In the hyper-fast world we all live in, it’s easy to forget the value of slowing down and taking a longer view of any given situation. Sometimes this approach can lead to a genuine meeting of minds, and the resulting collaboration can be a truly good thing. But sometimes it can’t. In a musical landscape where it seems every other release has to validate itself by ‘featuring’ a worthy contemporary in order to gain some traction, the concept of collaboration can be a facile one.

With this in mind, it’s refreshing to see that New York based label felte have obviously carefully considered the artists who share the space on their latest release.

Los Angeles based outfit Flaamingos and Berlin (by way of London) duo The KVB share an aesthetic that fits together like two impeccably formed blocks of gleaming black Lego. Their collaborative release, simply entitled Split EP, showcases three tracks from each band and goes a long way in affirming the respective bands as two acts to get excited about (if you’re not already).

The first side goes to Flaamingos who waste no time in launching into their glossy, synth driven antics by way of ‘I’m Not Dead’. The track is a wash of shinny melody pulsating with 80s influenced shoegaze sensibilities. But there’s an undeniable Joy Division delivery in the vocals and bass that interweave, not least during the impossibly catchy ‘Dancing Upstairs’, a track that see Flaamingos embracing their inner Depeche Mode, to pretty stunning effect.

The KVB provide the after hours chill-out session to Flaamingos intense partying. ‘Still Warm’ drips with sinister atmospherics as the buzzing guitar grinds at the foundations laid by the supercharged synth line. It’s a cyclical and claustrophobic call to arms that’s as compelling as it is anthemic, a theme that continues head long into ‘I Call First’. Closing track ‘Outlines’ sees The KVB let loose with an elongated instrumental soundscape awash with interstellar sonics and spacious beats that coalesce into the closest thing to a horror film soundtrack set on the moon.

In Split EP, Flaamingos and The KVB serve up six tracks of compelling shoegaze and sinister synth-noir that will leave you in little doubt of how impactful musical collaboration can be when the balance is just right.

The Split EP is released on 10 July on felte.

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