Music Reviews

Artist: Kyoka (@)
Title: Is (Is Superpowered)
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
A gust of cool wind on Raster Noton which manages to move the fronds of the tree that got tightly deep rooted on abstract techno grounds comes from Berlin-based Japanese producer Kyoka, the first woman in the ballistic roster that Frank Bretschneider and Alva Noto accurately built over years. The sonic spin doctors of Kyoka's third album are her label mates within Raster-Noton, Frank Bretschneider and Robert Lippok, who stretch frequencies and greases pawl and valve gears of an engine that seems skin-tight on the opening "Intl-A_Bin" and the following track "Flashback" where the removal of tarpaulin let prefigure and shine the gunky electromechanical sonoritiers through the first moments, but Kyoka's stylistical handliness becomes clearer when you keep on listening: even if she seems to add softener in the laundry where she centrifuges the harsher abstract techno of her mates, the balanced miscellany of ingredients that she adds into cloud of piercing frequencies, cleaving bleeps and smacking drums as well as a penchant for deconstructions are remarkable so that you could meet an unexpectable rap in the line-up of the chopped "Lined Up", otherworldy gurgling whispers and liquefied syllabic fragments in the aciduloud bolus of "Rot Neu", overstretched tie-rods and other industrial echoes in the captivating electro-house groove of "Rollin' & Tumblin'", a possible crossbreeding between AGF and Cibo Matto - ...and I'm quoting the NY-based Japanese female band not only for the inflection! - could be imagined while listening "New Energy Shuffle" or the amazing "Toy Planet" - the track where the concoction with To Rococo Rot and Bretschneider is well-rendered -. The triptych of track which features Mike Watt on bass follow: the hopping drilling and the radioactive saturations of Moonboots precede the amazing "Re-Pulsion" where Mike Watt inserts the funkier bassline of the album and the funny "Meander" where Kyoka's vocal chipping reaches its acme. The ablutions on UK acid pools of "Piezo Version Vision"a dn the gorgeous deep-house knottiness of the final "Mind The Gap" are the cherries on top of this excellent release.

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