Music Review | posted 09.05.2014
Kyoka
IS (Is Superpowered)
Raster-Noton, 2014
Text Peter Gebert , Translation Julia Frohn
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Cover Kyoka - IS (Is Superpowered)

For quite a few years, we’ve been waiting for her first record on Raster-Norton, considering that Kyoka Kondo has been part of the family for a while. And now it’s here. And neither her first record on Onpa))))), nor last year’s 12’’ »ISH« could have prepared us for this record. It’s as if glitch and pumping techno were in the air, but haven’t even been invented, yet: Seemingly skeptical about their functionality (but far from Aoki Takamasa’s edgy dryness), Kyoka keeps sprinkling fragments of a surprisingly charming sound-bouquet on top of a loopy grate of groove, which, at the end, always manages to find its right pace on »IS (Is Superpowered)«. Her voice often wanders through this post-EBM-labyrinth of mirrors, almost like a Cyborg with a defective speech-coding, serving tea and bone saws with equal composure. And then, »Meander« comes along and floods it all – a track that should definitely be part of a footwork-battle. All in all, it’s the seemingly mismatching connections that make the energies of dusty dancefloors rise again: Take the flying toaster in »Lined Up«, the Felix-Kubinesque »New Energy Shuffle«, which is suddenly overtaken by a clicking groove; the electro-funk-bass crossed with the toy-frickel of the late Dat Politics in »Re-Pulsion«, until finally »Piezo Version Vision« makes Autechre’s ears turn read. In between, tracks like »Moonboots« create a more thrilling atmosphere than the archaic approach would have suggested. Of course, Raster-Noton doesn’t keep quiet about the fact that Frank Bretschneider and Robert Lippok played an essential role in the record’s production, and it’s good proof of their great work that you can’t really make them out at first listen. We won’t ever know if Kyoka needed this kind of superpower-support, or if her garden of sounds would have been even more wild and earthy without them. Either way: Kyoka’s easy going and airy-fairy techno is a great contribution to the classic boys’-label.

You will soon find »IS (Is Superpowered) by Kyoka at hhv.de.
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