7/10 Jim Staff review, 09 October 2014
Joane Skyler and Hamish Trevis (aka Kinlaw) team up for the first vinyl LP released by 'frontierless abstract' label Reckno. Those already familar with each of the artists' cassette releases on the label will have a better idea than I did of what to expect from this record. Across the course of this record the duo morph their way through various guises of electronica, fusing sharp beat instincts with advanced spatial awareness in brief but fluid compositions that are pretty varied in scope.
The opening three tracks give a nice example of the shapeshifting modus operandi employed throughout the record: "Mini Boss Moon Bass' opens with some stern bass elongations and slowed-down jungle breaks that are filtered out of earshot before the rhythm tightens briefly before disappearing into deep space. Which sets the scene nicely for 'Partial Recall', which sees waves of warped loops and organ chords drift in on clouds of modulated delay from a sunlit horizon. The blissful aura left by the second track is suddenly cut by 'Higher THan 44', with its stark, slow groove and layered melodic patterns that are not quite in tune with each other- nailing that sense of disjointedness you get, when you feel at odds with your environment; like feeling warmth and love within, while the world outside looks cold and hateful.
The whole album shows a deftness of touch and close attention to building an interesting listening experience by keeping things fresh and never doing quite what you expect. Given the broad scope of the music, I sometimes get the feeling that Kinlaw & Skyler haven't truly found their musical niche quite yet. All the same, connoisseurs of the kind of electronica put out by labels like Skam or Rephlex will find plenty of nourishment here.
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