Review: Known Rebel – Hollow

Posted on January 11, 2012


Ever since Autoclav1.1 made the switch to Tympanik Audio it had become a label to keep watching. In its early years it had a continuous stream of artists providing great releases. However throughout the years, it proved a challenge to win me over. I was either spoilt by the some of the artists (Autoclav1.1, Stendeck and Totakeke) or my taste evolved, bottom line I was hardly enraptured by a release anymore. This changed when I listened to Known Rebel‘s Hollow.

Known Rebel is a Spanish duo, which consists of Jaime Irles and German Escandell. After founding the act in 2009, they release a 3 track EP the next year. They receive feedback and support via SoundCloud and the two make an album in 2011. Hollow was released via Ember Music (which houses two favourites of mine: Carl Sagan’s Ghost and Saffron Slumber) on BandCamp in May. A friend of Paul Nielsen recommended him to look into the Spanish act and Nielsen fell in love with it as he put it. The original release remains mostly (Andrey G’s remix was cut) and has four additional tracks remixed by the likes of Lucidstatic and Roel Funcken to name two.

Now the music; Hollow starts off gentle and the IDM gets build up gradually. Anonymous and Neigh may not stand out in power, but they do their job well in getting the listener out of their current world and into Known Rebel’s. Although there’s a difference in sound, the start of the soundscape is reminiscent of Subheim’s Adrift where a certain calm carries the album into darkness. Mechanical Sunset elevates the sound’s presence and Herz Aeon holds onto it, leading the listener to Gathering of the Argonauts. This track excels by staying with the calm approach of the start and intensifying the beats. Science is restless and has a richer sound than the previous tracks by filling up the intervals. Smart then drops the beats and thoughtfully uses the piano which is accompanied by a ghostly loop. Adding a certain cold to the atmosphere, this works well.
Jaime Irles’ remix of Helium-3 picks the sound back up. The track originally has an ambientlike form of idm pacing through and features a trumpet in the second part. However now it has more tempo and therefore fits better with the album’s atmosphere. Roel Funcken gives Smart more strength while keeping the gracious sound of the original. Next up is a remix of Gathering of the Argonauts and this too is a great effort. This is because it shakes things up and opens the gates to another upbeat endeavour. Helium-3 is transformed into a bigger version of itself by 2methylBulbe1ol, who has put himself on my radar. Finally Access to Arasaka gives a reinterpretation of Herz Aeon in his own spacious world, engulfing the listener with waves of those detectable beats and glitch and providing the album with an excellent closer.

Overall this is a great record, the extra remixes are a treat and it’s a shame I didn’t pick this one up earlier or it might have snuck its way into my Best of 2011 list. Nevertheless it was a good year for Known Rebel with an album that first got a digital release followed by a cd release.

Preview the album here:

Posted in: Review