Prepare yourselves, audiophiles, for a trip into the deepest reaches of your own psyche. There are no promises in the journey ahead. There is no end destination. You will most likely find some moments…unsettling. You likely have never taken a plunge into waters this murky and unclear. You will be bashed and bruised and bloodied along the way. And yet, there is value in taking the first step. Valued Customer has created a program which puts at the forefront deranged eccentricity in order to give you, the listener, a lesson in perceptual expansion. Grab up your headphones and throw on a record named Kalpa, who knows what you will get out of it when you come out the other side?
I have no idea where to start talking about the possible influences of Valued Customer, so I suppose you should just start by giving them a try. They told me to start by trying out track 8, so I suppose I will pass along the same advice:
First of all, it is important to understand that the songs on this album go through so much evolution within a track that pinpointing a single style becomes an exercise in futility. My first reaction was that it sounds a bit like Talking Heads-esque New Wave, but being able to lock it down quickly became impossible. There is definitely a prog-rock aesthetic in the long songs featuring many different through-composed sections, so there’s a start. Kalpa at times features an alternative synth-rock sound reminiscent of Animal Collective. And despite the fact that Toronto band member Justus Kinloch assured me that every note of this album is fully written out, I can’t help but get the vibe of the Grateful Dead when they’re far off the deep end in a 30-minute Dark Star. There are hints of jazz fusion and a ferociously chaotic Bitches’ Brew era Miles Davis tone. Wait…was that a bit of hip-hop thrown into the mix? What do we make of all this? I say just put the album on and decide for yourself.
Well, other than that I feel like Kalpa is really impossible to describe. It’s weird, it’s certainly different, it’s attention-grabbing in the strangest way. My only recommendation is go in with a bit of patience, it may take some time to get accustomed to Valued Customer’s unique take on things. Click here to stream and buy the album!