Negative Climax’s Kālá is an amalgam of drones, ritual sounds, and odd rhythmic music. The duo from Japan use vocals to great advantage, combining ghostly female chants with tribal tones and electronics. Much of it is looped, the vocals simply hanging in the drones; at other times, Negative Climax allows the haunting Sanskrit lullabies space to breathe without any electronics.
Often the drones are at the forefront of each piece, like opener “sidhyati,” the eerie vocals mixing well for a hypnotic blend. On “Kāma (Unplugged),” the vocals are chants that imbue a foreboding sense, not even needing any loops to give it atmosphere. There is an overwhelming sense of culture in these tracks, and many of them wouldn’t even be considered noise at all if not for the more chaotic recordings of flute or synth work, the sounds blurring a little because of volume or the way in which the instrument was played.
Negative Climax is listenable for the average music lover, though, and many who enjoy tribal rhythms or Indian sitar will find much to love on Kālá. There’s not a lot of noise on offer here, but there are more than enough lulling drones to keep everyone interested in their work.