Cumquat is Kevin Sullivan, Philadelphia-based manipulator of found sounds and synths alike. His newest track, “Cucumber,” strikes me as at once wholly human and remarkably alien, clocking in just under two minutes long. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to introduce you to both Cumquat and his newest track in an introductory premiere right here on No Smoking – stream away!
If I’m not careful, I might end up writing more words than you have time to read while listening to the track. “Cucumber” begins with a cluster of sound effects that remind me of some of the mid-career Animal Collective B-sides. A list of relevant adjectives would look something like this: wet, drippy, incessant, humming, insect-like, natural, artificial. The sound effects also are mixed with some really disorienting track panning (not to mention bleeping sounds), which is both intentional and effective. So, in a nutshell, it’s all over the place sonically, but somehow it manages to be disorganized in a coherent way. When the soulful, Thom York-esque vocals come in (almost incomprehensible), they are juxtaposed in sharp contrast with the production on the rest of the track, leading to an incredibly tense feel that ends without resolution. This number probably would have felt more smooth in the middle of a longer release, as an interlude track or something, but in any case it’s certainly a tasty introduction to a talented new composer.