Kangding Ray: Hyper Opal Mantis (CD, Stroboscopic Artefacts, March 2017)

Hyper Opal Mantis cover art

It has to be said: if you don’t like listening to someone opening and closing some kind of flangey filtery thing (n.b. perhaps not the correct technical vocab there) then you probably won’t like this record. But then, it also has to be said: if you don’t like listening to someone opening and closing some kind of flangey filtery thing then what the hell is wrong with you? It is one of the most wonderful sounds known to humankind. Get with the programme.

I haven’t 100% loved David Letellier’s music up until now: I compared 2011’s Or unfavourably with the work of Senking, and I stand by that view. With this album, he’s left Raster-Noton for Stroboscopic Artefacts, and he’s also steered a decisive course in the direction of techno and of the dancefloor. And the move has come off beautifully. This is big, bouncy, hard techno, all thumping bass and skittering high-hats and buzzing and squelching and moody sci-fi melodies and, yes, riding the faders like a mother. I basically fell for this about 20 seconds into the opening track, Rubi, which (a) reminds me of Aphex Twin’s Digeridoo, in entirely a good way, (b) kinda makes me want to shout the lyrics of Dominator by Human Resource in time to the kick drum for reasons I can’t properly explain, and (c) is almost 10 minutes long and still leaves me wanting more at the end. And okay, so it doesn’t quite quite sustain that level of awesomeness throughout — the track Onde Mantis, in particular, feels flat to me, which I’m blaming on the live “improvised drumming”… it’s called “techno” for a reason, kids! — but it’s still pretty damned good.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Techno / House.

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