Dimitris Papadatos is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who just released his sophomore album “Ganja” as KU. His songwriting practice is mainly based on improvisational techniques and oblique strategies and the lyrics are based on his – yet unpublished, poetry.
Since KU’s 2013 debut “Feathers”, many things have changed. Proxima-b was discovered, the socio-economical state in Greece started falling apart, a snowstorm brought a hurricane, the seas became tombs, watching a concert became life threatening and his other projects Jay Glass Dubs and The Hydra started taking off, gaining international acclaim. Inside this turmoil and with an aftermath of changes in his personal life taking the lead, he decided it was time for all the material laying dormant in his demos to take shape into a second album.
Spiraling from the throbbing force of “A Happening” to the shuttered melancholy of “Cypriol”, “Ganja” is an album of departures and arrivals, a faint signature of a life past and the decision for a new one. The album’s lyrics are the main objective. Holding strong position on matters such as power, love, ambition and depression, it underlines the addiction that may come to all of the above separately and simultaneously. The words are to make “Ganja” a severe read-through of the artist’s psyche transformed in its duration in front of the listener’s own ears.
Like the plant that gave the album its name, the music in “Ganja” is a beneficial parasite, a strong symbiotic and a deja-vu of emotions, smells, melodies and orchestrations, indefinable yet so specific. The instrumentation is deliberately as elemental as possible, emphasizing on the essence of sound. Space guitars, Battiato-ian moogs, persuasive percussion and hummed protoelectronics juxtaposed with acoustic fragility, choral grandiose and white reggae moods reveal a process that is never militant towards one direction.
Recorded live in its larger amount, with the talent, musicianship and knowledge of his long time collaborators Baby Guru in their Marginalia Studio and produced by the band’s Prins Obi and King Elephant as well as KU himself, in Mondays between May and June 2015, “Ganja” is a personal story sung and played between friends who fight, love, decide and forget each other but never unknow what brings them together. That sacramental moment when everything is in sync and the words and sounds float freely and fill up the room like smoke from a dried out herb.
Music and lyrics by KU. Additional music by Baby Guru. Produced by King Elephant, Prins Obi and KU.
01 A Happening
04 Dry Dates
05 Spring Elevator
06 Olympic Complex
07 Oolong “SoundCloud Radio edit”