Kevin Costner Suicide Pact

Container Ship

If you can get past the name Kevin Costner Suicide Pact is an exceptional Denver-based ambient/experimental group whose celebrity referencing name I’ve personally found to be a distraction from their delicate compositions. Other people love the name – so make of that what you will. These eight long tracks glide slowly across the plastic reels of this two cassette/digital release. The container ship referenced in the title and cover of this album reminds me of living in Savannah, Georgia where colossal container ships were seen regularly. If you were in a restaurant down on River St. when one of these titanic ships was floating down the river it would appear as if the whole building was moving because your entire view outside the window is engulfed by the ship. While trundling down the river toward the coast, the ships made very little sound. It was ominous – hundreds of huge shipping containers stacked like legos on top of a massive steel hull. What are they moving? Where are they going? This KCSP album has an air of mystery as well. Container Ship opens with a few minutes of ambient atmosphere on “It will all be over soon” and drifts into the more rhythmic sound of “Wallace”. The successive tracks each have their own personality, which can be unusual in a lot of ambient music. There is a lot of ambient music that sounds like someone fell asleep with their head on the keyboard. That is definitely not the case with the KCSP.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is called “Mookie Suit” – it begins with a simple guitar intro that comes in an out of a grainy haze to accelerate and layer into a dense fog of melodious synths and effects. This track is followed by an even more patient construction of pulsing hums on the thirteen minute “Polish Double” and the gradually coming into focus slow-paced marching drums of “I don’t believe me”. The last track, “Aerodrome” starts with a low throb that is accompanied by higher pitched metallic synths, then the simple rhythm of an EKG that descends into long form celestial drone. This is easily one of my absolute favorite releases of 2013 and is still available as a double-cassette on Patient Sounds as well as a very affordable $3 download. This is ambient music at its finest.

Nathan Abels

December 12th, 2013