I love discovering a band I've never heard of before, doing something on a small run CDR release, that just blows me away completely. Sand Rattle Kins hits me in all the right places with "13 Steps from Kava Conch". The artists behind this project display an aesthetic that puts them on par with some of the most sensitive sound artists working today.What these artists possess which makes them so special, is a mature sensitivity to what they are creating. It's hard to pin down exactly what this nebulous spark is, but you can undoubtedly feel it when it's present.
"13 Steps from Kava Conch" is a lofi masterpiece like Excepter's "KA", or some of The Skaters more coherent work. It also shares some similarities with a lot of the phenomenal Finnish underground music to surface in the past few years in the droney underground. This album has its own warped personality though, filled with bizarre technicolor jungles and psychedelic swamps. Sand Rattle Kins use lots of short arrangements of looping samples and rhythms to create a mood that is disjointed and disorienting, while somehow still maintaining an almost story-like continuity. The sound sources themselves help with the clarity. Besides toy keyboards, whistles, and drums, there are also unusual animal-like growls and yelps. Everything is covered in a peculiar grit, almost like it's being sampled from an old television in your basement. Listening to this disc is a captivating experience and one that I still can't quite wrap my head around. I love the bizarre mood here and really feel that this has got to be one of the most satisfyingly creative things I've heard so far this year. 10/10 -- Charles Franklin (25 June, 2008)