Kone are guitarist/singer Alice Ream, bassist/singer Jonny Mundey and drummer Graeme Murray. Kone are based between Oxford, London and Bedfordshire, and they are gearing up to release their new three track EP, Sketches of a Kone on September the 1st. To celebrate we have the premiere of the entire EP, its intricate, artful guitar music layered with melodic and instrumental textures:
The name Kone has come to suggest a kind of triadic creative relationship between the three instrumentalists where each element is equal to the others. They seek to push the formula of a guitar rock trio in as many unusual and surprising directions as possible. Alice is a multi instrumentalist and music therapist. Jonny has been busy with soundtrack work, and Graeme was formerly drummer in legendary polymath rock band Youthmovies, as well as being the brains behind experimental drum troupe OCD Drumline.
Being simultaneously influenced by classic acts such as The Velvet Underground and Shellac, they have also been compared favourably to the likes of US/Canadian bands like Protomartyr, Ought and Parquet Courts, as well as UK acts Prinzhorn Dance School and Savages. That said, Kone also draw influence from some unexpected sources. As bassist Jonny states: “string quartets have always been an inspiration to us because they’re often so astringent and visceral. And I’d say the visual artist Ed Ruscha is definitely an influence on how I think about words”. Alice adds that her inspirations are “bands that are interested in forming their music based on individual part writing rather than writing chords with embellishment. Bands that hear the horizontal ‘melodic’ lines, rather than vertical ‘harmonic’ pillars.” Refuting what might be a tempting, yet lazy tag of describing Kone as an ‘art school’ band, the three are trained musicians, but as Jonny says “we call it art music for guitars because the music descends as much from art music as it does punk and other guitar musics. It’s a mix. We’re interested in structure, space and simplicity – which sounds cerebral – but we also want a Kone show to be engrossing, sweaty and kinetic”.
Two thirds of the EP (Party and Hotel Europa) was recorded at Shonk studios in Oxford with John Halliday (The Candyskins) and Jimmy Hetherington-Reid engineering and Patrick James Pearson producing (whose credits include Liu Bei’s latest singles). HYKO was recorded at SAE London engineered by Paul Drolet. All Sketches of a Kone tracks were mixed by Patrick James Pearson and mastered by James Bragg (who has worked with Gengahr and Grace Lightman).