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Blending reverb-soaked shoegaze with minimalist electronic production, the KVB's music always reflects their mastery of atmosphere even as it evolves. On early releases such as 2012's debut album Always Then, Kat Day and Nicholas Wood dealt in brittle beats and sonic blasts that evoked Cabaret Voltaire and the Jesus and Mary Chain in equal measure. Later, the duo's style encompassed the streamlined, sharp-edged sounds of 2018's Only Now Forever and 2021's Unity as well as the hallucinatory '60s psych-rock covers of 2023's Artefacts (Reimaginings from the Original Psychedelic Era). Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Wood formed the KVB in 2010 as a solo project while living in Southampton, England. This incarnation of the project issued a number of limited cassette and vinyl releases that included the single "The Black Sun" on FLA Records and the June 2011 EP Into the Night on Downwards Records. That year, vocalist/keyboardist/visual artist Day joined Wood, and the KVB released their debut album, Always Then, in 2012 on Clan Destine Records. The duo kicked off a busy 2013 with the release of their second full-length, Immaterial Visions, for the Minimal Wave imprint Cititrax that February, then followed it with a remix EP featuring contributions by Regis and Silent Servant that May; in November, a reissue of 2011's previously limited-edition cassette release Minus One arrived on Brian Jonestown Massacre mastermind Anton Newcombe's A Records label. In 2014, the KVB ventured to Newcombe's Berlin studio to track what would become the Out of Body EP, which A Records released later that year. This session marked the KVB's first recordings made outside of the duo's own home studio as well as their first time working with drummer Joe Dilworth, known for his work with Stereolab and Cavern of Anti-Matter. Wood and Day collected some of the more experimental output they recorded in 2014 on Mirror Being, which Invada released the following June. The band continued to move in a more experimental, heavily electronic direction on 2016's Of Desire, which the KVB recorded with vintage synths from Invada head Geoff Barrow's collection. The Fixation/White Walls EP followed in 2017, and that year the duo also issued a remastered, five-year anniversary edition of Always Then. For 2018's Only Now Forever, the KVB took a freer, more independent approach, recording on their own in their Berlin apartment for the better part of a year. On their next album, Wood and Day changed gears again. Taking inspiration from the stark beauty of unfinished luxury villas they saw during a 2019 stint in Spain, Wood and Day blended retro-futuristic synths and danceable rhythms into their shoegaze foundations with the help of producer Andy Savours on November 2021's Unity. The KVB moved to Cleopatra for their next project, May 2023's Artefacts (Reimaginings from the Original Psychedelic Era). A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Nuggets collection, the album found Day and Wood reworking the songs of psych-rock pioneers including the Castaways, the Troggs, and the Pretty Things in their own dark electro-rock style.
© Heather Phares /TiVo
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