Kaie Kellough & contributors – Vox : Versus

Photo credit: Mariel Rosenbluth.

Poet Kaie Kellough’s Vox Versus is a twelve-piece CD featuring a variety of approaches to text and sound composition. The range is from dub to electronic to music to sound poetry, with most pieces being a mix of these elements. It has a fresh and refreshing, almost understated approach to its sonic environments.


Kellough has assembled a cast of musicians who contribute tastefully to the pieces, whether by voice (as is the case with Kim Zombik), or with percussion, bass, piano, trumpet, turntables. Intriguingly, Kellough has not used these elements as ensemble, but rather drawn an individual instrument into each piece.


The texts authored by Kellough are playful – full of word play, cliché take-offs and shifty references. All These texts but one appear in Kellough’s Maple Leaf Rag (Arbeiter Ring Publishers 2010).


This is an inviting, impressive recording that does not try to knock the listener over with a blast of avant-garde technique and matter, but rather one that draws the listener in, while using those very tools. Kaie is witty, inventive, tonally moderate and the parallel and background accompaniments match his timbre. The performances are not over-the-top and the content is neither polemic nor confessional nor totally abstract. When there is abstraction it is balanced by concrete words; where words are foregrounded there is abstraction in the mix  – there is always a recognizable linguistic element to ground. This is not out-there experimentation to fear, but a considered, well-constructed assembly of original pieces that invite the listener toward the linguistic / literary edge  – an edge that has been insisting itself for a century or a couple of decades, depending on your reference points. Kellough and his collaborators are keeping that edge vital today.


Texts & vocals: Kaie Kellough

Vocals: Kim Zombik

Drums: Jahsun

Bass: Martin Heslop

Sound Collage: DJ Andy Williams

Trumpet: Jason ‘Blackbird’ Selman

Piano: Stefan Christoff


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'Word Sound System # 2 / You don't have to say the word you just have to make the sound' by Kaie Kellough.