Some things are frightening simply because they are unfamiliar and difficult to identify. That rings even truer today than when I first wrote this sentence. You do not always have to rely on conjuring images of demons or sounding like you are possessed to terrify people, although Knight Rider begins with exactly that element. Terror Apart simply sounds odd, like something is not right here. Sure, the basics of the music are identifiable enough—a synth, various objects being hammered on, samples, and random percussion—but the overall feel is otherworldly.
Mixing various elements from the early years of industrial to Eastern sounds, Terror Apart creates a sound that is particularly unique. Sure, those two identifiers sound familiar enough, but when you mix in everything from kelp horns (yes, you read that correctly) to clarinet and bugle, along with all the programmed noises, it becomes something else altogether. The beginning is a strange curse that almost sounds comical, but only because the experience is so strange you are forced to laugh it off in order to deal with it. The overall sound is strangely exotic, self-identified under the phrase “future primitive,” which is a great description. Electronic noises seem to be Terror Apart’s main mode of communication, yet it sounds like it could have been created hundreds of years ago. Crashes and scrapes create the atmosphere while odd vocals intone various noises that hardly resemble language. Synths and field recordings sound as if they are rewinding time itself, while this tribal ghost child invokes intonations that are three decades old and simultaneously exist in a futuristic paradigm.
The synths are clearly replicating a sound from the ’80s, while the overall aesthetic seems as if it comes from a time in the distant future: a unique clashing of minimal synth, retrowave, and experimental electronics that is both incredibly original and unexpected. This could easily be the soundtrack to a science-fiction film written in the ’80s about witchcraft in the year 2055. At times, Knight Rider gets relatively noisy, but never in a chaotic sense; this is noise that is contained in a box with whispered incantations. The vocals are often an odd chant, a spell caught in the throat and unable to be uttered. The pace seems deliberately slowed down, as if passages were crafted and placed in slow motion. So much of the album comes off as random that it is hard to decipher what is and is not happening.
While I cannot say that this is my favorite album of all time, it’s definitely one of the more interesting ones. It’s difficult to get into as so much of it is simply strange, but I tend to like music that is challenging. This is truly a sound that I can only pinpoint in particular sections as it does not fit neatly into any one genre or style. For this reason, I highly recommend Knight Rider as listening to this album will be, at bare minimum, a unique experience. Knight Rider stands out in a world of music where being eccentric and spooky is in style.
02) Into the Sun
03) Head In
05) My House
06) Grasping Hands
07) 4/4 in leather
08) Night Rider
09) Last Frost
10) Feeding Hour
Written by: Patrick Bertlein
Independent (United States) / None / Digital
Fantasy 1 (United States) / 003 / CD-R
QYJPPR Records (United States) / None / Tape
Minimal Synth / Experimental / Industrial