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24 February 2017
Kangding Ray - Hyper Opal Mantis


    Germany-based producer David Letellier aka Kangding Ray has been making his fans happy with the steady output of albums, released in quantity of five on deeply cherished Raster-Noton over the past decade. As of late, he's been particularly prolific, releasing an album a year, Hyper Opal Mantis being his third consecutive album in a row. This time, however, he opted his second most frequently attended label, Stroboscopic Artefacts, to be the publisher.

    If you make a ritual out of adding tracks to your collection, compartmentalizing them through sorting by BPM and power levels, and you are primarily looking for club-ready material, your attention will immediately be captivated by Rubi, Outremer and Epsilon - the most energetic works of the album, paced at 131, 131 and 133 BPM respectively, with moderately striking 4/4 kick drums, electricity-enriched basslines, suspenseful ambiances and additional, intensifying percussion elements such as craftily-synthesized hats and shakers, running at double speed. While Soul Surfing, Dune and Laniakea (127, 130, 130 BPM) follow the similar formula vis-à-vis percussion and basslines, they prove to be slightly less animated, the kind of works that you'd be better off using as openers rather than peak-time insertions, but nonetheless, they have their own charm - acidic bassline of Laniakea harkens back to days of early trance music, and with Dune, Kangding Ray takes a stab at retro-futuristic style of synthwave, bringing to mind 80s classics such as, of course, movie adaptation of F.P. Herbert's Dune, original Tron and Blade Runner - quite timely, given that the latter is getting a sequel set for release on October 2017, and the film and TV rights for Dune were acquired by Legendary Pictures in November 2016, which hints at possible forthcoming TV series set in that universe. 115 BPM piece Purple Phase plays a role of an interlude in a way, although not a beatless one - measured 4/4 kicks and melancholic bassline will lead you through the sandy veils of two shaker sets, running separately in each channel, with a slight shift from the kicks. We clustered Saudade, Lone Pyramids and Onde Mantis (128, 129, 130 BPM) in one group due to their syncopated kick drum patterns and emotionally demanding basslines that might lay heavily on shoulders of the listener; Onde Mantis, however, excels significantly due to its rogue drive, brought on by samples of tribal drums and polyrhythmic arrangements.


Release Type: Album

Release Date: 24 February 2017

Release Format: Digital ● CD ● Vinyl

Record LabelCatalog: Stroboscopic Artefacts ● SALP005

Purchase Links: Stroboscopic Artefacts


Category: Reviews
| Added by: rhetor
| Tags: LP, 2017, Techno, IDM, Kangding Ray, Stroboscopic Artefacts