The name Kontravoid belongs on a limited run cassette circa 1980-something, the type of tape buried in lost upstate dustbins of pre-MIDI analog electronics, wedged between Cabaret Voltaire and Das Ding. The dark industrial and new wave influences are strong on ex-Crystal Castles drummer Cam Findlay’s new project—his voice is scary, like an echoing underwater growl—but the underlying pop melodies always afford a degree of breathing room.
After departing as writer/producer for Toronto band Parallels, Findlay has settled into a music venture he can call his own, assuming the identity of this masked alter-ego for what appears to be a permanent ride.
On his debut self-titled album, Kontravoid turns to analogue synths to create a dark, brooding pop masterpiece. His brilliant vocals emit a dystopic low-grown, often running through warped effects accompanied by exceptionally stirring arpeggiated synths and washes of sound. Modern touchstones could parallel the likes of John Maus or Trust, but Kontravoid’s vision is a much more twisted one, embracing goth influences and yielding a monstrous result that is harder to define. Despite its sonic vampiricism, Kontravoid’s music leaves plenty to dance and lose your mind to, but the imagination here goes way beyond these activities exclusively.