**Note: This is a review of a live album. As such the focus here will be much more on the characteristics of this album’s live recording and less on the musical aspect of things.**
Within the realm of live recordings there is a way of feeling out the music that is hard to convey. What I mean by this is that the power and raw energy often expressed by those excellent bands who know how to exude live is usually lost on the capturings that are put out. Often times the bootlegged copies, live tapes, and YouTube videos have more interesting facets then the official “live album” does, a strange and sad fact that typically has to do with the over-production and treatment of the process as if it was a studio record.
The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact straddles a strange fence here. With their “Live Suicide” release they have managed to make a record that is a compilation of recordings from 2010-2012, a thick 13-song arrangement that has the core of what KCSP seems to be: a group of individuals creating sound- and sample- based tracks that have to do with concepts like ethereality and free noise.
In this way the album succeeds immensely. Any noise gathered from the background or inconsistency in the recording process is immediately part of the vibe and overall mix of the track, an incredible advantage that KCSP possesses over other live albums simply because of their style of music. “(please rise for america’s theme song)” is an excellent example of this. Murmurings from background equipment and instruments being worked flow seamlessly into the sound, especially because many of these noises are, by nature of their usage, in time with the change in sonic tools.
In these songs there is great live experimentation. As with any sort of sampling, noise, or otherwise logically dissonant music there is a sense of distinct difference that must typically occur between the recorded and the live versions. “New Lopez” exemplifies this well for, along with all other tracks on the compilation, it varies immensely from the original recording. For one the live version is five minutes shorter than it is on the album, and the tone, a sort of lo-fi burn, is applied to the live track that is wonderfully apparent on the compilation as a whole.
This compilation is most certainly worth picking up. The major plus here is that the quality of sound and enjoyment is set at a name-your-price payrate so that anybody can snag a digital copy.
Get it on the KCSP Bandcamp.