Music News

Kappa Cell takes over the Lion's Lair with its dark, dystopian hysteria

The Kappa Cell (due this Saturday, August 11, at the Lion's Lair) is made up of Don White — a guy best known for his stints in experimental metal band New Ancient Astronauts, outsider progressive outfit Action Friend and mutant funk phenoms the Good Grime Sound System — and James Jewkes and Reid Felecos, a pair of fellow explorers of the otherworldly vistas of analog electronic spaces. Reminiscent at times of Walter/Wendy Carlos's early work, the Kappa Cell captures the dystopian feel of Thomas Disch's Camp Concentration and the sense of claustrophobic hysteria in J.G. Ballard's High Rise while making music that's still darkly entrancing and expansive. And there's a visceral quality to the act in the live setting that takes the sound beyond merely ambient: The rich detail with which these guys color their songs is cinematic in scope and as atmospheric as a mid-morning fog — simultaneously bright and mysterious.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.