Viennese quintet 5K HD float between electronic and organic. Their debut “And to in A” is a Swiss army knife of forward-thinking pop.
This isn’t neo-soul nor post-rock, it isn’t even post-dubstep anymore. This is some next level future-step or something. I’m talking about “And to in A“, the debut album by Austrian five-piece 5K HD.
Like a Swiss army knife, 5K HD can pack a lot into a relatively small space – 10 songs, 46 minutes, an average song length of four and a half minutes.
5K HD is the combination of improv jazz group Kompost 3 and vocalist Mira Lu Kovacs, who has fronted Schmieds Puls. Hailing from Vienna, their label home is the capital’s Seayou Records, which also counts Ankathie Koi and Mynth among their artists.
5K HD’s songs are very emotive, sometimes similar in sound to ÄTNA. With Hiatus Kaiyote, they share the intricate song structures – take the all-over-the-place “Ice Bird” – and forceful vocal delivery.
Oftentimes, like on “Trouble Boy” and “Mute”, they float between electronic and organic, soft and hard, vulnerable and violent. Ambiguity is central to “And to in A”, as is a certain enigmatic quality.
I like to think that the enigma comes from the musicians’ background in jazz. Not because of the obvious “jazzy” feel of songs like “Ice Bird”. I understand jazz here as a forward-thinking approach of exploring new sounds and adapting your playing, singing or writing style to them.
Basically, as Miles Davis and countless others said, there are no wrong notes – it’s what you play afterwards that makes a note wrong or right.
In the case of 5K HD, the jazz is not in the notes but in the way they take a musical idea and just go with it. If so many songs on the album sound kinda ‘off’ at first, it’s how they develop that gives them sense.
It might disturb you the first time you listen to it, but everything on “And to in A” is in its right place.