NHK’Koyxeи, Dance Classics Vol. III

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Photo by Katja Kremenic

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The third in a trilogy of Dance Classics from Kouhei Matsunaga, Vol. III sees NHK’Koyxeи engage with techno more overtly than on previous issues. While “501” may still have some of the hip-hop/Autechrian swagger of foregone volumes, most of the album might actually bring DJs to entertain the notion of squeezing this stuff into their sets. A tall order, for Matsunaga’s music is far too fluid, far too free-spirited to stick to any one groove for very long. “341,” a solid slice of party-rousing deep house, certainly sets the table right but disappears just as quickly as it began. Album highlight “768” lays the ground work for a sub-heavy, bleepy techno roller, and then shifts into a stuttering 90s rave anthem — something like Donnacha Costello’s Colorseries scanned at obtuse angles. “675” starts off sounding like filtered and sequenced white noise, but soon coalesces into a heads-down, delayed techno roller.

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“766” sounds like a version of “768,” with a longer runtime allowing it to stretch its legs and breathe a bit. It flits between being tightly wound and letting its synths really sprawl out, perfect for dance floors with more esoteric proclivities. Dance Classics Vol. III evokes the work of nsi. in its brainy, academic-leaning approach towards dance music, eschewing DJ utilitarianism in favor of something more idiosyncratic. It is not, however, overly challenging music, as its sub-heavy grooves and enveloping sonics are sure to light up dance floors in both the laboratory and the living room. Music this beguiling and this effective can be hard to come by in techno, as there are certain genre rules that techno simply must play by before it’s a different genre entirely. Dance Classics Vol. III is hardly seeking to turn techno on its head, but it does stretch the rules in directions that aren’t always considered. It’s playful and it’s serious; it’s floor-ready and it’s a DJ’s nightmare; it’s immaculately produced and yet caked with noise at times. It’s one of last year’s most unfortunate casualties of the year-end charting season, and yet it’s far too timeless to really give a shit. In short, Dance Classics Vol. III is just that: a future classic.

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Little White Earbuds January Charts 2014 – Little White Earbuds  on February 7, 2014 at 2:23 AM

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