Chris Davids and Liam Ivory aren’t the ordinary production duo. Sure they’ve taken their Maribou State project to Ibiza and performed in some of the biggest festivals, but they are from the EDM type. Instead, they are cinematic innovators, who create widescreen and expansive soundscapes that are beyond mesmerizing. Their artistry reaches a whole new level with Kingdoms In Colour.

The LP is an expansive and far-reaching enterprise, and it is dazzling. It represents Davids and Ivory stretching their arms out and inviting the world to join their hypnotic party. Their awe-inspiring downtempo approach remains, but it is layered with influences and sounds from their extensive travels. For instance, “Beginners Luck” fuses strings and Middle Eastern textures to create a feeling of a midnight journey across the Sahara. Indian woodwinds – possibly a bansuri – are added to the intoxicating “Kingdom”. The multi-sensory “Turnmills” is like an exquisite art installation that you cannot keep your eyes off, while the mysterious “Slow Heat” fusses jazz and French film-noir.

The influences also extend to who’s on the record. Long-time collaborator and partner Holly Walker is featured on three songs, including the aforementioned “Slow Heat” and the and sensual “Nervous Tics”. Meanwhile, fellow “Favorite Albums of the Year” nominees Khruangbin appear on “Feel Good”. Maribou State’s dark, cinematic textures are noticeable, and they mesh fluidly with Khruangbin’s psychedelic touches. Their contribution takes the listener from the Spanish party island Ibiza to an oasis in the middle of the Al Khatim Desert.

Closer “Kāma”, meanwhile, is the duo at their most radiant and ravishing. Taken from the Hindu word for “wish” or “desire”, the track personifies its meaning in every way. It is like a dream that one wishes to live within for all eternity. This also describes Kingdoms In Colour, whose power, beauty, and grace are to behold and never to be forgotten.

Kingdoms In Colour is out now via Counter Records. It is also available on Bandcamp.

To review the first 25 of our Favorite Albums of 2018, click here. The final 25 of our Favorite Albums, meanwhile, is available here.

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