Climb Downhill 2

BRUK • 2023

Downhill is always easier. Relaxation is probably not the last thing the Japanese Kohei Matsunaga wants to achieve with his audience. He has been active since the nineties under names like NHK’Koyxeи. Yet the music, which pushes the boundaries of danceability with deliberately stumbling rhythms that torpedo the calm flow, somehow always manages to stimulate the nerves without simply being irritating. His broken breaks often maintain just the right amount of hip-hop compatibility, so that fearless rappers like Sensational are happy to team up with him. On »Climb Downhill 2«, for example, »I Can Watch It« provides the right basis and flow for coming up with words. This time, however, there are no lyrics, so we have to make do with the associations evoked by titles such as »Melancholy of Guillaume Apollinaire« or »Spider of Hanns Heinz Ewers«, two very different literary figures from the first half of the 20th century. The latter played at the very least an ambivalent role in the Nazi era. Elsewhere, Matsunaga adds »Drive Smooth«, his own contribution to the as yet not entirely charted territory of rumple house. It is one of the highlights of this pleasantly unsettling, yet constantly invigorating and powerful album with its discreetly edgy groove.