Kyoka: Is (Is Superpowered) (CD, Raster-Noton, May 2014)

It was looking for a moment there like I wasn’t going to get a single 2014 release from the wonderful Raster-Noton. But only because I nearly forgot about this little gem from the summer.  Which would be rubbish, because this is fab. It’s got that precision-engineered glitch we expect from the label, but it’s also crammed with infectious beats and catchy tunes, and makes great use of her cut-up vocals, hovering just the other side of language and all the better for it. There are so many moments which just make me grin every time I hear them: the interplay between her vocals and the awesome toasting on Lined Up, the daft squeaky melody which turns up two thirds of the way through the rumbling Rot Neu, and the way that Re-Pulsion somehow makes me think of a R&B track that’s been syncopated to within an inch of its life. But my highlight has to be Piezo Version Vision, a sort of industrial hardcore number that smashes together a pummeling beat, a big roaring noise, a bunch of squeaky noises, a fantastically catch glitched-up snare fill, a vocal that sounds a bit like someone trying to play a didgeridoo while operating a pneumatic drill, and a brilliant chipmunky rave vocal… and slices and dices them into something utterly exhilarating. I can imagine this absolutely destroying the right kind of dancefloor. Hell, if I knew anywhere playing this kind of stuff, it might be enough to make me go clubbing again. For me, this is the most exciting dance music record of 2014 (and this was the year that the new Aphex Twin album appeared).

I bought this from Juno. They call it Techno, which seems a bit arbitrary.

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