Keston & Westdal have released Truth Is Stranger, a voyage into new territory for this duo. Their previous work, Super Structure Baby (2004), was an auspicious departure into the world of electronic music where synthetic vibes dominated the landscape. Truth Is Stranger moves over the horizon, exploring new country that incorporates more jazz sounds.
As we begin our trip, “One 3 Five Funk” announces that this vacation is going to be fun. Organ work here is prominent as the track takes on a funky sound. It seems KestWest has moved away from some of the drum machine work on Super Structure and have settled for a more organic sound. Listen closely though and you will still find their characteristic blend of beautiful synthetics. If you are searching in the past for a familiar sound of Structure Baby, then “Nebula” is the time trip machine you need to take. This feels like the ultimate destination spot you remember. It is a well written track with subtle, playful background electronics along with great keyboard work and just the right amount of guitar. Be sure not to get off the boat here, because just as soon as the sun sets, the party is getting started. “Otokoyama” is a low-fi celebration of heavy grooves. It is the kind of late night track to keep the party moving. Suddenly, the past is brought back to the future as “Vaccine” fills the sound waves. “Vaccine” is a modern day version of Pork Recordings reinvented as a deep beat penetrates that brings back fond memories of Leggo Beast or Bullitnuts. Comparisons here are not a sign of inferiority but rather a compliment to great electronic music production.
On Truth Is Stranger, this duo clearly has the skill to push their electronic sound in the right direction. This album has few ports of call because you will never want to get off. Don’t be afraid of the cost to get onboard for this trip. Keston & Westdal continue to produce great nujazz/electronica that is worth the investment.