Pitchfork (Website) - "Those familiar with Martin's brand of concussive dub and Fennesz's elegant dance between electronic glitches and dulcet guitar washes might be taken aback by the hushed tones of this pairing."
Audio Mixer: The Bug .
Unknown Contributor Roles: Christian Fennesz; Jimmy Mould; Stefan Betke.
Edition 1 breaks an almost four-year period of near silence from King Midas Sound. As producer Kevin Martin and vocalists Kiki Hitomi and Roger Robinson pursued individualized outlets, little was heard from them as a unit apart from "Aroo," a single issued in 2013 that marked their move from Hyperdub to Ninja Tune. The A-side was a sweetly battering dub/shoegaze hybrid, conceivably informed by the aggressive temperament the group's performances had taken, while "Funny Love" was a tearful ambient ballad. The B-side turned out to be a prelude of sorts to the primarily beat-less Edition 1, the first in a series of four album-length KMS collaborations. Christian Fennesz was sought for input and obliged with new, improvised work and access to previously unreleased recordings. It's surprising not to hear any of the guitarist's bristlier tones here; imagining how Martin could manipulate something like "The Liar," off Bécs, is tantalizing. Instead, it's mostly soft waves with gradual undulations and dark undercurrents, and they have a way of evoking a relationship's slow motion drowning as much as the reverb-cloaked but intelligible voices. In the opening "Mysteries," a forlorn Robinson sings, "I waited for you, but you never came," and makes the emotional likeness to Waiting for You instant and plain. The song, as well as much of what follows, is spacier in relation to that album, with only the pained "On My Mind" and in-flux "Loving or Leaving" dealing out penetrating low end through wrenching basslines and resonant drums. The latter is the closest Martin has verged toward pop, from its size and structure to its winding synthesizer patterns that escalate in tandem with Hitomi's wistful chorus. As crucial as Hitomi and Robinson are to the album's effect, one of the highlights is a doleful 14-minute instrumental with faint bass, creeping drones, and chilling vibraphone reverberations. ~ Andy Kellman