VA – Kontingent I

Artist: VA

Title: Kontingent I

Release: Digital 

Year: 2015

Label: Kontingent Records (BG)

The last time I remember seeing Kontingent Records around was maybe in 2000 (and something), mostly publishing stuff by Bulgaria’s alternative band KPD-0. Now it seems they’re back. Ran by Ivan Shentov himself (krāllār, Ънален Диспут and former KPD-0 mastermind) they have now headed on a new mission, to promote even more alternative forms of music and sound. Setting up their first release didn’t take too long as just days ago we were given a krāllār & metek collab named [haunted]. However, today saw the release of a way bigger and more ambitious project – their first digital compilation.

‘Kontingent I’ presents the works of 17 different projects from all around the globe – Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, France, USA, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark, Bulgaria and the UK. If I have to be honest recently I’ve drastically cut the number of compilations I’m listening. That’s usually because they lack exclusivity, a stronger uniting concept or just because the amount of stuff published on Bandcamp is, let’s say, too overwhelming. However, this one I didn’t miss and it’s pretty much perfect. Throughout the tracklist we’re gradually exposed to various approaches and atmosphere types, both escalating and getting darker and darker. The release starts with lighter, more drone and ambient based works, among which stand out amazing unreleased pieces by deffektegg, Jeff Stonehouse (ex-Listening Mirror), Zeleia and LUX KABLAGE.

Halfway through the compilation things get harsher, maybe with Stase:Orgone’s and the abrassive soundscapes of their ‘Ci-Git le Placenta’ , then the devastating see through buildings’ ‘hell is boiling’ and krāllār’s own chainsaw worshipping piece ‘Soil’. From then on you’ll find yourself blasted with more and more distortion until Cogwheel Crack (one of the best appearances in the compilation) and Nihilistic Front wrap this shit up with dirty Bulgarian harsh noise. Yeah, as with all compilations there probably will be tracks you won’t like so much, others you will love and certainly you’ll discover some new names. It’s great that Kontingent Records were able to curate something so coherent and powerful with a such a big roster of contributing artists!

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.