Kite Base @ The Sunflower Lounge, 13th June, 2017


It is intrigue that has brought me to The Sunflower Lounge this evening. After seeing a clip of two bass players doing a cover version of my favourite Nine Inch Nails track Something I Can Never Have, my curiosity was ruffled and I needed to see these musicians live.

Kite Base consist of Kendra Frost and Ayse Hassan who ascend to the stage in an understated fashion and begin their set with Soothe. Frost triggers samples and manipulates sounds from a work station set up in front of her whilst Hassan conjures up an interesting bass line that reminds me of something that Simon Gallup or Peter Hook would produce.

Kite Base

Kendra Frost’s ethereal vocals are juxtaposed with the underlying industrial sounds, which is most evident during Nineteen where the drum beat could have been lifted from Front 242. The duo appear totally immersed in their music, Hassan barely opening her eyes whilst playing as if in a trance in which she is utterly united with her instrument.

Frost uses her bass to enhance the melody as in Soothe yet at other times, such as during the track Grids, she uses effects and generates a gritty sounds that resonates over the drum pattern.  At times, Kendra’s vocal line is enhanced by pre-recorded backing vocals that not only emphasise the need for impeccable timing and tuning, both of which she delivers on, but also are sensitively placed to provide a depth at pertinent moments.

Kite Base

The set is only thirty minutes long, yet what an awesome half an hour.  I am reluctant to make too many comparisons as Kite Base presented one of the most innovative sets I have seen in a long time. However, at times there was aspects of Lamb yet much edgier and more challenging and during Dadum I was reminded of Suzanne Vega’s live performance of Blood Makes Noise when she uses only bass and electric guitar but as I said these were fleeting presences.

During the set, Kite Base barely address the audience as their focus appeared to be solely on the music, yet, after the performance both Frost and Hassan take to the merchandise stand and happily chat with audience members which is very much appreciated.

I enjoyed what I had experienced so much that I purchased the album there and then and having listened to it on my journey home, it does not fail to deliver either.  Kite Base are two incredibly talented musicians and visionaries that I can’t imagine them playing such small venues for much longer so if you get the opportunity to experience their work, embrace it. Mindblowing.


Reviewer: Toni Woodward

Photographer: Ian Dunn

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