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Wata Igarashi – Kioku EP

Igarashi’s ultra-psychedelic swirl of techno is unbelievably idiosyncratic, customarily a chaotic monolith of twisting and twirling electronics evolving in such a way that, when mixing, it’s hard enough to keep your head screwed on let alone try choose tracks that straddle it. The Kioku EP is truly the Japanese producer’s best exhibit of this hectic, mind-bending take on heavy dance music.

Beyond “Body” which is, truthfully, a repetitive modular banger not at all deviating from its arpeggiated riff, lies three of the largest and most thunderous techno tracks I have ever heard, unparalleled in their intensely revolving atmospheres and sheer expanse. “DNA” and the earth-shattering “Gravity” both build this tension through a claustrophobic backbone of roaring bass and static that other layers just wrap and weave around. The sheer weight of these tracks can be attributed to this swelling roar of chaos that even outweighs the relentless kick to tie everything together, from ominous wind chimes to shrill, scream-like climaxes.

“Kioku” is an entirely different beast, a Herculean lesson in complex and shifting sound-design much astray from the previous two peak-time stompers. Igarashi explains in an interview with XLR8R that ‘kioku’ translates to ‘memory’ and such, the track makes him “imagine how our memory functions: connecting via synapse and nerves, going all over the place”, helping us contextualise this modular workout. It just evolves and evolves, pulsing with simple but precise additions of jittering high-hats and driving kicks.

Kioku truly is something special in dance music. Those last three tracks are a monstrous testament to a fresh progression in a worn sound, where the genre of psychedelic techno begs to be solidified and expanded upon.

8/10

Ry

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