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THE KOKOON-“We Didn’t Go” (EP)

Posted on 03.20.09 by ekko @ 8:02 am
"The title track of The Kokoon’s new EP brings back the fun of ’90s hard rock (think: The Cult), complete with infectious hooks, power guitars, and big, booming, easily misunderstood vocals.  It took me two listens to figure out that “Losing everything we own, and thanks for the otters” was “Loser has to buy a round of drinks for the others.”  It’s a great song.  It’s also only slightly like the rest of the EP, which sounds a lot more like Siouxsie and the Banshees (on “Charms”) or Gary Numan (“Ready to Go”), with elements of The Cure and even The Cars.  In other words, it is updated 1980s New Wave, and it’s lots of fun.  A solid EP with promise."

A&A #306 reviews/April 2009

"Another band that takes more than a few cues from the 80s. The Kokoon wears its devotion to the likes of Depeche Mode and the Cure on its collective sleeve. Of course, when you make music swing like this, it doesn't matter much whose material you're cribbing.
And if you want to hear one of the most blistering modern goth pop rock anthems in decades, try "Life It Seems So Delicate." I can just see the dance floors of my youth filling up quickly if this song were to hit the speakers.
Five songs that invigorate and inspire. I'm assuming there will be a full-length sometime soon. I simply cannot wait."

THE KOKOON - Berlin (LP)

A New Review by Mark Suppanz - The Big Take Over Magazine (New York)

...Inspired by their experiences in London and Berlin, their second LP is filled with hardedged, stylish dance music, over which Simone croons her dark, androgynous, Siouxsie-inspired vocals. Thankfully, this is not your typical blandly programmed, computerized blips and bloops. The band employ real, slashing guitars and ominous, razor sharp keyboards, anchored by percussion--check out the first-rate, rousing dancefloor tracks "We didn't go" and "Presentation", or the sinister, industrial "Break down".
They'll remind you of dance/rock acts such as later New Order,March Violets,Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Cult.

"The Big Take Over - Issue No.62 2008"

SOULSHINE 2008:
Writer: Stephanie Ng Wan/Soulshine

"THE KOKOON’s sophomore record Berlin was recorded in the very city it was named after, and is an apt title for the very European-style indie music from THE KOKOON. The new wave and dance influences are also very evident on this disc, which, contrary to popular perception of new wave being a thing of the past, lends itself to a very contemporary feel due to the vocals of Danyx Simone and Dirk Henry.

The songs are energetic and upbeat - cases in point are opening track, “Impressions” and the fun chorus of the second track on Berlin called “We Didn’t Go”. A change of pace is introduced with song 3, “Break Down”, where Simone’s voice is most androgynous: starting off quite feminine and then returning to a deeper male vocal.

While for the most part, the record doesn’t seem dated, there are a few songs, such as “How Do I Work This”, that have an ever so slight resemblance to the 80’s new wave we-hate-to-love and love-to-hate. The album is short too at only 38 minutes in length, and so some may feel like they want to hear a bit more of the band’s capability.

While THE KOKOON may not appeal to every taste, it does seem like the duo are not only bringing back a sound once associated with the late twentieth century to the present day but are trying to make it their own."

THE KOKOON - erase (LP)

Review by Jonathan Novak 8/04 USA
www.leftoffthedial.com
When New Wave was new, was it called New Wave?
Or First Wave? As it lingered on through too much
hair and costuming (and not enough actual effort to
make original music), did it simply become Wave?
The reason I ask is this: can New Wave music in the
contemporary music world still be called New Wave?
Or, is there another word, emerging from its chrysalis
after so many dormant years?
The Kokoon’s Erase is like a time capsule, buried
under the ground sometime in the mid-80’s and left
alone to ferment, to mature, to emerge 20 years later
with a sound that can only be described as the
evolution, the direct descendent of New Wave. The
London-based duo of Danyx and Dirk, clad in
matching pin-striped suits and flashy bright neon
dress shirts, dapper black ties, and matching haircuts
of blonde and brunette, bring their sense of solitude
and alienation together with their sharp sense of style
for a purely retro thrill.
This is not to imply, however, that The Kokoon is any
kind of gimmick act or contrivance. The very effort
going into this album, all paid for and gruelingly pulled
together by the duo itself, the very emotion injected
into each track of the album, the sheer quality of
musicianship throughout is a sign of the fact that The
Kokoon wishes to be taken seriously.
Danyx herself comes across as a modern day Annie
Lennox (not to say that Ms. Lennox has passed so
much as perhaps her career as a Eurythmic has),
with the shrillest highs and the vibrating lows used to
surgically tear apart the implied message of any lyric
and stab it home with precision. The rest is a
compilation of heavy and ever-present guitars,
keyboards, drums and bass, mostly supplied by Dirk,
producing the same low lows and shrill highs needed
to evoke that danceable yet dark mood not seen
anywhere outside the goth synthpop scene (and
executed in a much les sinister, much more melodic,
much softer and much less “Dark like my soul” kind of
way). At times, the album lends itself to an IDM
comparison. At other times, pure electronica. Still
other times we get a sense of gothy synthpop or even
a bit of Depeche Mode.
And in the end, it’s almost as if a full branch of the
evolutionary tree has been found. Kokoon learned
lessons somewhere between New Wave and being
European and combined them into something wholly
likable AND intelligent. Simply put, this album is good,
fun music for the synthesizer fan.

Review by Corinne 1/05 USA
www.pluginmusic.com
On "erase," UK band Thekokoon show that they know
how to write a slow tune with some bite, accented
with twinkling beats. Smooth melodies round out their
sound as they add some fun, whirling, whizzing,
sputtering noises to the mix for quick ear catching
numbers.
With a little for everyone in their strong and catchy
sound, "Calling" comes out with buzzing electronic
pulses, crashing drum beats and plunking piano while
elsewhere "Tied" leads with its melody. Thekokoon's
instrumentation leads their songs as with the slower
bass driving "Face," has a dreamy, far away feel,
while on the upbeat "Dawn" Danyx tells you "Dance
away your tears and fears" over gritty riffs and light
pulses. Rhythmic beats are the main thread of some
songs more than others, such as the relaxed
"Delicate" and the fun electronic assault "Order." Full
of variance, "Ready To Go" uses dynamics as it
builds to a full, fuzzy sound, and "Take Me To The
World" offers a rougher edge.
Electronics reign supreme for Thekokoon. Never
abusing their cornerstone, Thekokoon's "Erase"
remains interesting and even inspires dance,
although there is more to their sound than just that. It
is more about a feeling, and one that is delivered with
confidence.