Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Sons of Ken – I Feel 4 U Review

Another round-up of artificial intelligence is positively used in the musical arena. Fashioning suitable cover art for collections of electric wisdom from Sons of Ken is all part of the grand package. Another EP, and like the might of Ringo Starr, their collective revival of the extended-play variety is a shot in the dark and a diamond in the rough. I Feel 4 U similarly plants its flag to their best-yet, Disco Sucks. With tech expert Elon Musk slapped on the front of this one, the line in a series of bigshots whose power obscures what little talent they have as people, I Feel 4 U takes flight, stocked full with one track in particular – a firm favourite for Sons of Ken it would seem. 

Said track, the titular I Feel 4 U, has a radio edit, an extended mix and a mix from Rennie Pilgrem. The legendary electronic music producer, who brushed shoulders with influential rave groups at the height of the movement, lays down a quality piece on this Sons of Ken EP. “Here it comes again,” as the three-track, one-song wonder begins. A nice electronic bubble to live in once more, these Sons of Ken are fashioning out quite the quality backlog. With I Feel 4 U, the artificial intelligence reliance is, as The Beatles recently did on Now and Then, expanded on. Art meets technology and although it is difficult to die on the hill of robo-music, there is an argument growing, burning, inside of Sons of Ken. They are by far the best to do it so far. 

Pilgrem is where the good stuff is – his expertise on the electronic systems which crafted the finer points of rave culture in his heyday is not lost. He may not be fully active in the music scene anymore, but I Feel 4 U and his smooth mix here may make listeners long for the days of his full attention. Spike Burridge and Michael Moran are keen to let rip on The Sandman too, the only non-titular track available on this Musk-laden EP. Shorter than the rest of their efforts so far, and ever-so-sweet too – the artificial intelligence is a little more on display here, such is the point of I Feel 4 U. Their fourth EP and a number in the title? Oh so clever, and not at all noticed by someone in desperate need of a third coffee. Still, those with an IQ higher than 70 will spot it much sooner.  

Those who do not, enjoy the songs and tap your hands along on the arms of your chair. The Sandman has such an endearing funk and wobbly tone to it which sees Burridge’s android vox worked well. Moran adapts his bass guitar once more, finding a groove and rhythm for these heavily tech-oriented tracks. As light and near-twee The Sandman is, the thought of being stalked by the professional wrestler or Spider-Man villain of the same name is chilling. I Feel 4 U is another fascinating display of technology in tune, and it shows no signs of stopping.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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