It’s hard to overstate just how long fans have been waiting for KOAN Sound’s debut album. The UK duo were one of the first signees to Skrillex’s OWSLA, dropping their Funk Blaster EP with the label all the way back in 2011. In the years following, they released five more EPs, both on OWSLA and Inspected Records, before releasing Forgotten Myths on their own Shoshin Records. In contrast, the last three years have been very quiet for them, a period during which dance music has exploded exponentially and gained millions of new listeners, and so they don’t have what many these days would consider to be a strong following. However, with the release of their debut album Polychrome this weekend, that’s bound to change.
Rather than the sometimes blind exercises in sound design by artists like Alon Mor, or the rather single minded direction of Flume and his sound, KOAN Sound are master chameleons and sound engineers. They’re able to weave seamlessly between genre, often finding themselves somewhere in between many simultaneously. With regards to sound design, their talents are largely regarded on par with legends like Amon Tobin, Tipper, Noisia, and the like. With their debut album Polychrome, they’ve certainly more than proven their boundless abilities.
The album spans 11 tracks, created over the course of the last three years. “Chilli Daddy” and “Viridian Dream” were released as singles prior to the album, demonstrating a penchant for frenetic funk as well as the jazzy, dream-filled synths they’ve become known for. The rest of the album is a brilliant combination of various styles ranging from the aforementioned funk and jazz to drum & bass, chill house, and more. Each track is treated with KOAN Sound’s own brand of polish and finesse, dripping wet synths with bright, crisp drums and beautiful melodies.
The nearly hour-long journey is worth your undivided attention. Listen to KOAN Sound’s debut album Polychrome below.