J. Kill & Mr. Mule – ‘I Exist’ EP Review


At SonicAbuse we like weird, handmade things, they show an attention to detail that is missed by those who simply drop a CDR in the post and hope for the best. When said item comes complete with the instruction that the music must be listened to at 3a.m (come on guys, some of us have work to do), it definitely captures the interest. SO anyway, here we are late at night (but not, I’m afraid to say, early in the morning) with candles lit and this five track EP from J. Kill and Mr Mule on the stereo. It’s an odd experience, and the authors of this hazy experience are right, this truly is late night music for the insomnia sufferers among us.

Opening with ‘destroy my body’, the aggressive title stands at odds with the dreamy progressive rock that drifts from the speakers.  A short prelude that exists somewhere in the realms of latter-day Swans, the EP starts to make greater sense with the claustrophobic trip hop of ‘Past tense’, a track that sounds like an instrumental take on Tricky’s ‘Maxinquaye’, with funky stabs of guitar and echoing beats driving the piece forward. Somewhere in there, there’s even a Wurlitzer, played by Robert Bjork. Best described as the dark lounge music played in hell, things only get darker as the sinister, subtly-industrial beats of ‘growing numb’ spark and stutter into life. If this is the music of the future, then it’s the dark, dystopian future envisioned by Ridley Scott’s Alien and certainly not the gleaming, safe surfaces of Star Trek. If the corroded beats of the previous track were unnerving, the Spartan percussion and arid guitar of ‘One day we all stop breathing’ is downright disturbing, as if you’ve wondered into some dust-strewn and long-abandoned graveyard during your late night meanderings. It’s almost a relief when the glimmering post-rock of ‘Erase my mind’ slowly builds to a melodic peak of worn distortion and echoing lead work that, like Syd Barrett’s ravaged playing, feels on the verge of dissolution at any moment.

Clearly not a record for the masses, ‘I exist’ is a curious piece of music written for those unusual individuals who like to exist in those cold hours when the dark gives way to dawn. Evocative and a gateway to the imagination, it’s one of those rare treats which live, way down in the belly of the underground. For those with a taste for such dark delights, this comes highly recommended. 7

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