"Some music just hits you right when you need it most. I write this as I’m trying to get over being sick, not a lot able to pick me up, that is until I heard KØDE.
If you’re unfamiliar – as I was – KØDE are a slowcore powernoise band from Switzerland, and quite a good one at that. If you’re contending with what the hell slowcore powernoise consists of, just imagine Hole entrenched in mud and you’re at least most of the way there. That said, KØDE firmly occupy a space that I love to hear from every now and then. I’d slot them in cleanly with bands like Ex Hex, Low Dose, and even Slow Crush, though KØDE still maintain a strong identity. Today, we have the pleasure of premiering their entire new album, Discrete Transformation, for all you lovelies, and I promise it’s worth your time.
Measured and astute, KØDE are a band after my own heart. The album nears the short side, clocking in at around 40 minutes, but says – and does – a lot with that time. True to slowcore, Discrete Transformation is the most alive when it’s deliberate and takes its time. Even still, that indie punk soul stews beneath, seeping out through the cracks and fissures. This is where the fiery energy is stored, vented out every so often to entice and regulate itself.
“Héloïse” rumbles forth in a way that really resonates with me. The bass is warm, vocals are full of life and intimacy, the overall mood is cathartic, purgative of distateful thoughts. I listen to “Small little pieces” on the way home as dusk wraps up the sky sooner and sooner these days, the perfect soundtrack for such a moment with its gentle instrumental drive that still has some grit to it. That’s a big plus to Discrete Transformation – it does indeed have its more discrete moments, but those moments that pierce into you for optimal emotional reaction and effect are never too far off.
There’s a defiant punk disposition to every note, evocative of monolithic trendsetters like L7 and Nirvana. It’s not enough to have slow parts here and heavier parts there, this album treats the music like a spectrum by fluidly waxing and waning across the possibilities of artistic expression, but one thing remains constant: its candid spirit. This album radiates feminine strength, something also best expressed as a spectrum. KØDE find the time to be vulnerable (“Stars”) just as they do unrelenting and resolute in their messaging (“Time”).
If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this album. Short of providing a full-on review of Discrete Transformation (something I had to consciously not do here), it’s best, and most succinctly, said that it’s an album that’s going to speak to you if you have a penchant for indie rock with a harder edge that likes to take things slow. Never mistake slow for boring, or if you do, let this be the album that challenges that perception. KØDE have really nailed this aesthetic, probably the best I’ve heard this year so far. Do yourself a favor and indulge.
Everything is noise, oct. 2019.
released October 18, 2019
All lyrics by Saskia Fuertes and Pierre Vogel. All music by Saskia Fuertes, Danaé Pérez & Sylvain Schaffner. Additional arrangements by Moos, Zoé & Pierre Vogel. All songs performed by KØDE.
Saskia Fuertes: Vocals / Guitar / Synth
Danaé Pérez: Bass
Sylvain Schaffner: Drums
Recorded in November 2018 by Sebastien Tavel and Adam St-Roch in Gland, Switzerland
Edited by Sebastien Tavel & Karim Pandolfo
Mixed by Julien Fehlmann at Studio Mécanique, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Mastered by Magnus Lindberg in Stockholm, Sweden.
Artwork by Etienne Piergiovanni et Saskia Fuertes
Our heartful thanks go to Moos & Zoé, Sebastien Tella, Adam St-Roch, Julien Fehlmann, Karim Pandolfo, Christophe McKa, Yonni Chapatte & Division Records, Manu Gauthier & Alligator, Etienne Piergiovanni, Camille de Pietro, Laure Noverraz, Alberto Malo, Sacha Micsiz, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier
Saskia sends love to her family, Zoé & Emilie Zoé
Danaé sends love to friends, family & Blaise Breichbühl
Sylvain sends love to Soph’, his family & Gaël Laporte
supported by 5 fans who also own “Discrete Transformation”
SGT Thunderhoof has become one of my favourite bands…..ever. And if I was held at gun point and asked which was my favourite albums from them, it would be this one, Ride of the Hoof. I listen to ST a lot but my go-to album is this one. If I’m not careful, I don’t give the other ST albums a fair go and that would just be depriving me of the greatness of all their other awesome tunes. With only a limited number of hours in the day, this posses quiet a conundrum. Harry Harrison