8/10 Ant Staff review, 29 September 2016
A cracking 13-track compilation cassette from Kikimora Tapes, featuring familiar and unfamiliar (at least to me) artists from the Berlin/ Chicago/ Toronto/ Detroit experimental electronic/ techno underground.
Includes tracks from Mitchell Akiyama (Sub Rosa/ Raster Noton), Beau Wanzer (L.I.E.S./ Nation), Beppu (Andrew Hargreaves of The Boats/ The Mistys), The North, Spread Function, Lllarks (aka Accelera Deck), TüTH (Damon from Disappears), Pagan Circuits, Guy Dallas, God69/Myster Eez, Mimoid, and Masker (Unfollow collaboration with Benoît Pioulard).
Beau Wanzer kicks things off with a tune comprised of raw drum machine, woozy bleeps and percussion that rattles like electrified cicadas. Spread Function contributes some emotive synth work on ‘Mirrored Places’. The Myster Eez track ‘Post Entity’ is reminiscent of Patricia’s foggy, lo-fi house on Opal Tapes. Pagan Circuits go at it with some gloomy, gnarly darkside breakbeat industrial. TüTH’s suitably titled ‘Unstable’ gets to work with heavy metallic clanging and thunderous volcanic eruptions. Llarks ‘North Somerset’ is fuzzy, distorted, hazy ambient noise. Mitchell Akiyama follows with unsettling dark ambient textures/ soundscapes and slow ritual percussion/ chants. The North’s ‘The Deliverance Ov Aismal (W.H.)’ broods with elongated, longing synth melodies underpinned by a paranoid pulse. Beppu go for the jugular with a superbly doomy, quaking black techno stomper. Mimoid unleash some pulverizing off-beat kicks on the distorted, crunchy, grim electro cut ‘In A River The Colour of Lead’. Guy Dallas turns in a stripped back, rough-hewn, minimal techno pounder with ‘Swollen Mitt’. Detroit based Windbreaker’s ‘Telemark Landing’ is straight up four to the floor, evolving with gently simmering, restrained acid and climaxing with with gorgeous enveloping melodic synth. Finally Masker close the set with the lush, evocative, dreamy ambient floater ‘Winnowing II’.
There’s a great mixture of styles and moods across the tape, yet there’s an overall, kinda blurry aesthetic that pulls them all together - making it very coherent, despite so many cooks contributing to the broth. Expertly curated and sequenced - this is most definitely a keeper.
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