Kinit Her- Hyperion

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kinit Her has released a considerable amount of material in a fairly short period of time, with four of their efforts coming out this year alone. The newest of these is Hyperion, a three track MLP that is based off of poems by Stefan George and Ludwig Klages and is created by using sprawling instrumentals that have a bit of an old world quality to them. It’s the type of release that takes a few listens to truly get a feel for, but give it the time to suck you in and you’ll find that Kinit Her has created an engaging piece of work.

Although each of the three songs has a similar feel, how they reach that point is quite different. The title track takes up the entire A-side of the record and puts the emphasis on the spaced out instrumentals that ebb and flow for close to six minutes before the vocals kick in with Stefan George’s poem. Instruments fade in and out of the background, and the structure for the first half reminds quite a bit of traditional European folk songs and orchestral arrangements. There’s a darker, grittier feel to the tonality yet “Hyperion” manages to completely entrance, and it put me into a more reflective almost meditative like state. Strings create the primary layers of the song, stretching out notes to build a base that the rest of the instrumentals work off of. Once the vocals kick in and begin reciting the “Hyperion” poem the dynamic of the track changes considerably, as it refocuses your attention and makes you want to pay attention to each and every word. Rather than coming off as a mere poem recitation, the vocal work makes it seem like the words are being chanted and occasionally they head into a higher pitch that has a choral feel. It’s an incredibly powerful performance that has continued to draw me in each time I make my way through the song, and I always find it impressive when a band is able to create such a heavy and gripping atmosphere with a minimalistic sound.

The two B-sides are about half the length of “Hyperion” but just as powerful, and both of these pieces start off with the vocals as the prominent element rather than letting the instrumentals build up first. “Lullaby” and “Reverberation” are both based off the poems of the same name by Ludwig Klages, and these two arrangements are where Kinit Her really lets their vocal abilities shine. “Hyperion” had a somber, droning vocal presence and while some of this is continued on these two tracks there is a bit more depth to the performance. “Lullaby” has the extremely low pitched singing intertwined with some softer ranges, while “Reverberation” ups the melody significantly. While all of this is happening the instrumentals continue to stretch their ideas out and build a haunting atmosphere that are well suited to the vocal ranges and makes the overall sound grab the listener. Classical and neofolk arrangements that are oriented around this type of droning instrumentation tends to be fairly hit or miss as dragging on for too long can make it easy for your mind to wander and lose interest in what is being played, but that never happens here and I found myself tuned in to every word and note.

Hyperion is a bit of an acquired taste, as it takes a certain type of listener to appreciate this type of droning vocal centric folk/classical music that feels like it is channeling a long lost era. It did take me multiple listens to fully take everything in, but once everything clicked I found myself returning again and again to experience this softer, introspective material. But what’s most impressive is that Kinit Her has taken poetry written by George and Klages and really made it their own, enhancing the overall mood with their instrumental work. Pesanta Urfolk has continued to expose me to some truly interesting musicians this year, and Kinit Her is another one that’s worth experiencing for anyone that enjoys neofolk, classical European music, or any other genre that will put them into a calm, reflective state while listening.

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