Don’t listen to this album if you are of a nervous disposition. Don’t put this on your IPod if you are walking alone down the street at night. For Transition is an unnerving jolt to the senses, I don’t think you can feel safe if you close your eyes and attempt to take in this record whilst blind to the world. This album is Sadako Yamamura coming to get you. This album tells me that I haven’t got a clue, but somehow if I can survive until the end, I will do.
Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh have decided to confront the listener; this is not so much an album to appreciate, but one that becomes an interrogation. Do you want to listen to our record? They ask. Can you handle this? The electromechanical instrumentation is so deftly orchestrated that one feels tested. You are disorientated and find yourself in a Josef K situation, unexpectedly on trial, hopelessly drowning in paranoia.
From the opening of ‘roads’ I am curious, waiting for something to happen, twitching like a rabid coyote as each creak puts me on tender hooks. Lokai set you on edge, ‘salvadors’ use of minimalist percussion lurches and creeps, ‘panarea’ dwells in low-lying ambience, ‘bruit’ is a shock storm of crashing rock feedback, everything is relentless, unexpected and for at least the first few listens new. You’ve never heard these sounds before.
The only thing to question about Transition is the suitability of this record. It could be argued that this is nothing more than a play for sound tracking. Lokai make music that would be perfect for the movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, scoring the post-apocalyptic landscape.
Despite the creators comparing Transition to a panoramic view, the album is uncomfortably claustrophobic. Kmet and Nemeth go the Womble way, using anything borrowed and found – second-hand discarded guitars, blunt objects and radiators that add a stark industrial sound, it is the raw sampling that creates the awe. At times you can picture an abandoned warehouse, leaking pipes, water drip dropping into tin buckets, rats scurrying through ventilation shafts and the tricks played by broken silence. Lokai conjoin sounds to silence, therefore there is a sense of exposure, the listener is stranded, unsure what is coming around the corner, what is lurking in the darkness.