A Mournful Kingdom Of Sand

Akuphone • 2023

Ak’Chamel, The Giver of Illness. Ak’Chamel, The Divinatory Monkey. Even the name of the duo reveals their attitude to the world and to the state of play. In any case, the band’s name suggests a rather fatalistic view of the current status quo and the future. 2020 has made powerful music out of this sentiment. »The Totemist« stood out as a highlight of the year here and in many other places: percussive avant-folk that captures death and nature in its spiritual as well as material power and renders it as sound. Ak’Chamel now delivers »the soundtrack to the desertification of the world« with »A Mournful Kingdom of Sand«. For human beings, the barrenness of the earth spells out the need to migrate. The album sets this glimpse into the future to music; nothing is where it belongs, longing is everywhere. It remains unclear whether you are mourning in North Africa or lulling your heavy soul into ecstasy in a rural Irish pub after twelve pints. »Amazonian Tribes Mimicking The Sound Of Chainsaws With Their Mouths« is a great track, and there are two more that are really strong. But compared to the predecessor, the album lacks feeling and urgency. Instead, it sounds too much like a mission statement; it’s okay, we get it, death, decay, extinction.