KPLR – Untitled (Digitalis Recordings digiv037)

Rating: 9/10

KPLR has enslaved technology to conduct high-end acid experiments with punishing repetition and whirling EQ-effects. It’s pure unlimited programming that systematically avoids looking into the books of current techno idols. Occasionally the tracks remind of early Bunker output like Acid Planet, but those looking for bass-driven 303 slammers will be surprised. Also, the act has shown courage to resist the bass obsession by finding attraction in treble levels of the sound. It seems KPLR has noticed tiny elements in acid patterns, picked them up and built entire tracks around them.
No ambient intros, no gradual introduction to the theme, because the opener “cirkuit syntax” is a short but drilling exercise that is followed by a twin brother called “timespan”. “tny mzk” has lost all the vowels and sounds like a small vicious bird, while “tny mzk (cw bll)” fuses mutilated voices and cymbals.
If you think the LP is uneasy home listening for weirdo tech-heads, then please meet a bundle of three tracks related to “cirkuit”. All of them are for moments when the floor asks for a little extra after a straining techno night. Armada of synth effects and rusty analog loops rule in “cirkuit rn#1”, mixed with cacophony of short-wave radio bands. “cirkuit rn#2” reminds slightly of early UK techno, e.g. “House Of God”, while “cirkuit rn#3” is stamped with hardcore and punk textures. Finally, deep bass enters the stage in “Sub Hype”, in unison with beeps and creaks.
KPLR’s previous release “TEK NO MUZIK” made old raver’s heart beating because of retro techno semantics and made to anticipate the duo’s further explorations in the sound. The new album confirms KPLR (now Dexter Brightman only, earlier release were done together with Jair Espinoza) as an artist who does not pick up common templates.
Digitalis, a label that ventures on exciting paths of the contemporary electronic music, has been an essential outlet in 2011. The label policy is very unpredictable, if we only compare KPLR’s fireworks with ambient and synth excursions by Jürgen Müller or Ricardo Donoso, whose “Progress Chance” belongs to my favorite releases this year.

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