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Kirkis' '2' successfully creates an unpleasant sonic experience

The album cover of Kirkis’ sophomore release – which depicts the multi-instrumentalist as a cyborg – is fair warning of the nature of the music within. 

Dystopian, disconcerting and unpleasant are three descriptions that could be applied to 2. His debut MODED bore a similar warning with the image of a child lying on a bed of nails playing Monopoly. I’m not sure what was more terrifying: the nails, or the idea of playing that monotonous celebration of capitalism.

Listeners are not going to enjoy this record, but of course, you are not meant to. Instead, Matthew Kirkis challenges the divide between industrial noise and music. Opening track ‘Victrola the Britain’, enters on a high pitch before tumbling through the gates of hell, upon deep fractured tones and eerie female vocals. 

Contrastingly, following song ‘Dead Nightclub’ is Kirkis’ most conventional output to date, with his vocals in the spoken style of Sprechgesang that was made popular in the late 1970s by Gary Numan, Joy Division’s Ian Curtis and Fred Schneider from the B52’s. In line with the post-punk sonic aesthetic, this song contains a rich synth line and fast-but-slow drums.

Ultimately Kirkis lives up to the hype on 2.