Kobina

The Last Mixed Tape reviews Sentinel Island, the brand new extended play from electronic artist Kobina.

Clarity is not always essential in music, sometimes sounds awash with distant reverb or echoed hints of melodies and rhythm give us the aftermath, the calm after the storm. This is the case with Kobina’s Sentinel Island.

Through out his latest E.P. Kobina (Sean Arthur) runs the line between ambient and electronic atmospheres. The short sharp pulses of percussive bass that punctuates tracks like ‘Big Heart’ cut through the harmonic malaise that rests in the record’s undercurrent.This immedicay contrasted with the far-off soundscapes of Sentinel Island make for an album that allows you room to breath and take it all in. And with the hynoptic beats and scratching backdrop of ‘Aviary’, there is indeed a lot to take in.

And so Sinetinel Island moves on. Like driftwood washed up on a beach, the music alludes to somewhere else, some place or moment in time where all the sounds and beats are closer, less distant.

This is knowhere better seen than in ‘Golden’ (featuring Kobina’s long time collaborator Blooms). With Lousise Cunnane’s vocal harmonies wrapping themselves up within Kobina’s music, the line between up-close and isolated emotions becomes blurred as the song portays both by shifting from one the other, the pair work in syncronicity. This is the moment in Sentinel Island where all the pieces click together fully.

A strong thematic E.P, Sentinel Island is Kobina’s story. It’s ambigious, all we are left with is are the echoes, reverberant sounds of something that has happened (or is still happening) and in this way the record is made all the more compelling, and indeed relatable to such instances in our own lives.

Rating: 9/10

Sentinel Island by Kobina is out now via Fido Sound. Photo credit: Olga Kuzmenko

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