One. Ben Klock
'Ain't no happiness' Elif Bicer
Certainly ain't. Berlin: cold, grey, wet. March. Spring a month off. Future growths and emergences suggested by one-or-two small buds on a tree; a green shoot edging its way through the damp ground. But the cold cuts through a thin jumper, as sharp snares and snapping kick-drums support knife-edged, razor-blunt (cuts you with a dull force, no sharp cleanness here) vocals and freeze-dried synth-stabs of OK on Ben Klock's debut album One. It seems appropriate to the season: the dragged out cold of a deep winter, deepening financial crisis, with only a vague hint at future sun-drenched joys.
But, thats not to suggest that happiness can't be a by-product of these conditions. No. It's just you need to look in the right place; have the right indication as to where to find it. And it lurks, somewhere between the sparse metallic stabs of Gold Rush (coins falling, gold-rushing away) and the icy-lush depths of Init-Two. And the suggestion, the merest hint of a golden-light evening of dreams is proffered by In A While. But don't let this disabuse you of the reality: Thirteen Rounds knocks the cold of winter back into your head with its shimmering icicles of super-cooled gas evaporating into helicopter swirls of ominous threat.
Its one degree outside tonight. Snow will fall, to some extent, tomorrow, and the skies will remain battleship grey.
One seems fitting, somehow. And thats to say it work's. In its setting, its context and its time. It works. Depression era Berlin. Second-time round.
Listen and decide for yourself if its any good.