With Daikan, Koner seems to be treading water waiting for his next big idea to pick him up and give him a shake. Nobody does this minimalist bass stuff better than him, and so even his less inspiring/inspired work is better than many could hope to be, but this recording has more troughs than most. Presented as a single hour-long track, rather than the 3-4 minute marvels of either Teimo or Permafrost, or the expanded variations of Kaamos, Daikan is a bass-heavy (although not in any musical sense) journey into a vacant space. It's the kind of music where you have to keep glancing over at your CD player to make sure it's still playing - there's just as much silence on the disc as there is music. Not that it's really music as it sounds more like the low rumbling of a distant storm. It makes a good accompaniment to read a book to, or just to fill in frequencies in the background, but you can't really sit down and give it your full attention as, unlike some of Koners other recordings, it isn't rewarding enough to justify the time. It doesn't feel like it should be his latest release. It's still a useful tool to keep in your sonic arsenal but it doesn't have the edge to make it a weapon.
I ordered this as soon as I saw that it was available, but then I'm probably a bit sad like that. I have all the albums released by Thomas Koner (not so keen on the techno Porter Ricks stuff that he does though).
I felt after a few listens, that this was a retrograde step towards the icy minimalism of the first 2 albums. The last couple of releases (Nuuk and Kaamos) were a little more involving, and a little more developed. I initially felt a little disappointed at this release as I had been expecting this development to continue. However I feel that the material in this album is ground he has covered before. One other criticism is that the whole album is archived as a single track, and yet there are definite breaks in the flow. It would perhaps have been preferable to break this into 'tracks', although the intention may very well have been to listen to this in it's entirety. Taken for what it is, if you enjoy Thomas Koner, then you'll enjoy this. If you don't, then you wont. I'll take it off the shelf to listen to every so often, but when I want to listen to something by Thomas Koner, chances are that I'll reach for one of the other albums first.
...20 seconds later, it got better! Nearly an hour later, I'm wondering. I've been yearning for something as good as the Aphex Twin (Richard T James) Selected Ambient Works Vol.2 and so have high standards to meet. This has an ambience but no musical content that I can detect - it doesn't seem to have a middle or an end. The sound doesn't do much so I think that it'll be easy for me to relate it to you here; Imagine you're in a huge spaceship laden with er... crates of cartons full of milk. There is a deep murmur and a hum which changes character - maybe the craft is passing through gas clouds. There is a DEEP shuddering thud occasionally - maybe crates of cartons are untethered and are hitting the walls of the distant hold as the craft changes direction subtly. My description there was tongue in cheek because I really can't take the track seriously. With a stretch of the imagination, I might try this: You could be out on a dark night seeing flashes on the horizon as heavy artillery shells hit banks of earth. The explosions are heard some time later as deep earth trembling thuds, this warm but uncomforting sound is broken only by an eery sound of a slow-motion vacuum cleaner passing your head tirelessly sucking up the mist from around you. Whoops, lost it again. I tried to take it seriously, I really did. There is one 55 minute track on this disc. It succeeds to set a mood and so I reluctantly add it to my collection. Maybe it'll grow on me, or I'll go mad. Or both. Today it gets two stars, tomorrow maybe three. Quinn Fissler