King Complex

Published on February 1st, 2018

King Complex

It might sound like a dig at prog-rock royalty, or like a therapy patient’s diagnosis, but King Complex turns out to be Bracher Brown and Cody Doss, earnest and humble dudes kicking some deliciously saccharine experimental electronica. Florida State University alumni based in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Brown and Doss merge synth pop and New Wave danceability with enough tech savvy to make an IT department blush.

For all the mad science and audio proficiency, however, “I think the most important thing to remember while composing is that it all — hopefully — starts with raw emotion,” Doss tells PureHoney. “Anything else that happens is to further exemplify the emotional content of the music.”

Doss, who credits playing “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” as the moment in which he fell in love with music, is part of a musical project that embodies that game’s youthful and cheery openness to new discoveries. King Complex’s searching has led them to a promising realm between the overblown muck of EDM and the hyper-lo-fi world of indie rock. Spacey and gritty, they invite a dancer’s motions while creating space for self-reflection.

In a further act of distancing that lets the audience enjoy and listen without prejudice, they’ve also embraced anonymity — or at least, a stage version of it that recalls the glam guises of Daft Punk, the cheekiness of the Residents and the raw energy of the Mentors.

“Seeing that we don’t speak in the masks, I would say they’re a pretty ineffective expression of artistic agenda — unless we had none, in which case it’s extremely effective,” Brown tells PureHoney. “We just want to make good music, put on a good show, and hopefully find some way to resonate with people.”

With an EP and the recent full-length “Phase //” to their credit, King Complex are just  beginning to pick up steam and refine their audible and evolving chemistry. Says Brown, “Experimentation doesn’t always equal a great song. Sometimes you want to connect with your audience more than you want to challenge them. I think if you can do both then you’ve got something really special.”

King Complex, with Yardij and Space Coast Ghosts, performs February 3 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. sub-culture.org ~ Abel Folgar

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