SUMS EP - Kangding Ray & Barry Burns (Mogwai)

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words: Elena Mara Reed, 2017-06-19

Seeing SUMS, a collaboration between Kangding Ray and Barry Burns (Mogwai), performing live at Rewire festival (with Merlin Ettore on drums) was out of this world experience. The combination of rawness and elegance, the passionate marriage between electronic music and post-rock, built upon musical legacies of these three notable men, has woken our primal selves up. One of the best live shows of 2017 and trust me, I’ve seen many!

When I heard about SUMS EP being released on Berlin Atonal Recordings, my heart started racing. Kangding Ray, a cult producer of darkish conceptual techno and Barry Burns, a multi-intstrumentalist and composer for the Scottish post-rock legends Mogwai, have finally documented their forward thinking project. The EP contains three tracks [Budapest, Matha and Nomads] which fuse Mogwai-esque synths with spatial electronics. In my humble opinion, the record only partly reflects the explosive match between the maestro of techno and the veteran of post-rock. After seeing SUMS live, I am aware how much the duo has to offer, - from danceable techno-like sonic landscapes to experimental explorations that move away from the functionality of the club to a genre-wise unmapped, arresting space. Having said that, the EP undoubtedly provides a beautiful glimpse of what I believe is the most thought-provoking and successful fusion of live and digital produced in the recent years.  I am already looking forward for a full length record!