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Kan Wakan At Amoeba, Wednesday June 18th 2014


Kan Wakan

I have seen Kan Wakan many times by now, at least three times,, then their album ‘Moving On’ came out a few weeks ago and I loved it. So when I saw they were playing at Amoeba on Wednesday night, I asked myself, should I go see them again? But it only lasted a few seconds, because I could not have missed their sumptuous music in my favorite place in Los Angeles.

Plus it was the occasion to see them in full light. They were doing the sound check when I arrived and the material displayed on stage – drums, bongos, several synths, many guitars and even more pedals, computers, sax, keyboard, soundboard – was super impressive, as was the forest of multicolor electric cords connecting everything in such a complicated network I honestly don’t know how they can possibly remember it. They did a large amount of tuning and checking, making me realize even more how sophisticated their music is. To be honest I had never seen so much equipment on the small Amoeba stage.

At this point, I can only repeat one more time, how fantastic their layered-to-the-extreme their music is, it’s a symphonic and subtle at the same time, it’s uplifting and emotional, dance-triggering and goose-bump-giving, and all the songs sound like some epic and diverse compositions whereas they all emerge from Gueorgui I. Linev’s multi-influenced sonic palette. If you haven’t listened to them yet, just try ‘Moving On’. “Forever Found’ and ‘Midnight Moon’, three songs they performed at Amoeba, and among my favorites of their album. It certainly was a challenge for the band to perform these complex and fully orchestrated songs live , but they hold the challenge very well, reinventing their noir, intense and sprawling soundscapes with passion and great precision, and Kristianne Bautisda’s sultry and emotional vocals.

I just hope that this time I will be able to keep these videos on YouTube a little bit longer than last time: I filmed them at the Echoplex back in February, and the video got more than 40,000 views!! I got in trouble with YouTube for ‘TOS violation’ as YouTube probably noticed some unusual large activity on the account – however I contacted the band and they told me they were totally happy with fans posting videos of their shows on YouTube. If anything, it shows that good things are happening for Kan Wakan, they are sure gonna continue to make these wide-screen and cinematic songs cut for epic westerns… As a matter of fact, they already have a HBO deal for the channel’s spring preview promo – a 90 seconds of repeated airtime with their song ‘Like I Need You’. They also played this one at Amoeba, and ended up with their 2-part song ‘Midnight Moon’, which lasts more than 10 amazing minutes of surprising detours and soaring orchestration. Kan Wakan have a dramatic and bold vision of pop and they performed it effortlessly,… and if you are in LA, you have another chance to catch them live this weekend (June 21st) during KCRW Summer Nights at One Colorado, Old Pasadena.

Pictures of the show here.

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