Kae Sun
Midnight and Other Endings EP
Montréal, QC
RIYL: Pierre Kwenders; Debby Friday; theoretical physics

“You could say it’s the ending, but I believe we are light years old.”

At first blush, Kae Sun’s hyperbole might seem unintentionally brilliant. A light year is a measurement of the distance light travels in one year, not time. Yet the Space Shuttle Discovery would take about 37,200 years to travel the same distance astronomical light travels in a year, so the math works out. Still, the way “404 Eros” compounds distance and time speaks volumes to the futurism on Midnight and Other Endings.

Swooning over a swelling synth backdrop increasingly invigorated by legato guitar and bass grooves, the track evokes the hyper-connective capacity of the internet and the landscape of fast connections, long distance relationships, and the broken links and browser rabbit hole dives in between, likening the perspective to that of “newborn gods,” all while expressing a desire to belong.

Articulating the cradle of humankind as a sort of well of energy and a landscape to be carried with you, in the EP’s corresponding short film, Kae Sun and co-stars walk into Namibian savannas and twirl onto nightclub dance floors as if by teleportation—a phenomenon that’s mirrored in the overall sound design of the record. 

On “Midnight Creepshow,” a digitally distorted bass kick punches holes in a languid scene populated by wah guitars and a gentle hand drum patter, as if opening portals. They eventually deliver the track to a throbbing scene where the same implements become more textural devices, Kae Sun’s soulful falsetto contorting with abstract autotune. On “Bright Lights,” similar thump gives ambient synth key figures a sense of spinning, upward propulsion. 

For a record ostensibly concerned with endings, Kae Sun articulates everything and everyone in terms of continuum, becoming. Whisking his vision into other voices, the EP is bracketed by a pair of guest contributions from Sam I Am Montolla and Debby Friday, and the latter echoes the record’s “endings” with a cubist memento mori. 

“When I sit at one side of the room and look through the window panes, I see the egg, I see the snake, I feel the filth,” Debby Friday reads on “Philae,” a track title that gestures at once to an Egyptian island and the name of a robotic space lander. “I do not dwell on the question of death.”

Maneuvering the timeless, formless, ever-reaching future of the hive mind, for Kae Sun, it’s impossible to be sure where whatever’s next starts and where it ends, but it’s here, it’s now, and it still has things to show you.

– Tom Beedham