This is most welcome news: lopsided dance miscreant Kohei Matsunaga is back! His new record for the NHK yx Koyxen record is also his first for DFA, offering the usual medley of melody, abstraction and frantic programmed drumwork. With his love of pitching anything and everything, it's hard to know what to predict beyond an unabashed foray into dance experiments.
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Hey look it’s that one-man duo NHK yx Koyxen doing one of the Norman office’s favourite electronic thingies of the year. The latest record from Kohei Matsunaga’s blossoming project has probably made the cut as most played at Norman Towers this year, and there’s a good reason for that - it’s #^&$%@! incredible.
Robin loved the last one (2016’s Doom Steppy Reverb) so much, but refused to review this because he continues to lie to himself about how “I don’t understand electronic music” etc etc. Just looked in your stash buddy, there’s a Rafael Anton Irisarri record sticking out. I guess you just got it to confuse yourself then, huh. (This paragraph is pointless but it's about me so I'm keeping it in - Ed.)
Anyway, reasons for this record being amazing. It sounds immediately fun. Little cute minimal electronic blips make up the melodic aspect of the record, cycling around blissfully like a Norman Records employee with a repaired inner tube. Yup, we’re getting autobiographical. These blips don’t have a care in the world, delightfully rhythmic and never overbearing or overly exuberant. From this simplistic beginning comes complex patterns, loops on loops, straight towards that hypnotic mindspace that you love.
On ‘Finding’ you’ll find a half-time techno skeleton on which the synth arps teeter on the brink of screech, yet never plummet. So, so well done. ‘Notice’ features the closest thing to maximal technicolour here, with about 3 arps going at once and a blurred, almost 80s haze feel. Lastly I want to mention one of my tunes of the year which is ‘Mutually’ - this one features a Four Tet-y click beat with an brilliantly odd scale being played like a spiral by the main synth layer, dubbing off into the distance like a great Ekoplekz track. It takes a turn 2 mins in that makes it really positive but still with this eerie edge. Worth it just for this.
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