Stingray was always going to be hard to follow, and has proven to be so.
Lower Parts is enjoying some well deserved attention. The Athens based label garnered praise from fans and press (myself included) after Stingray’s brilliant Cognition EP. Leaving the streets of Detroit behind, the Greek electronic collective are once again off to lands afar. The latest offering comes from up and coming Japanese musician Keita Sano.
For those of you unfamiliar with Sano he’s been turning heads with his own unique sound for labels like 1080p, Mr Saturday Night and Row Records. His latest excursion, Marin California, takes the form of four pieces.
A scatty rhythm leaves a dirty trail for the title piece to follow. Heavily distorted bass blunders in, trampling a path for a greasy dub encounter. That same stomping thump is carried into “Chaotic Death Strike” but this is a totally different beast. Breaks threaten, the potential of bursting into a blistering dancefloor bomb is there, but never come. Instead the energy within is contained and an adaptable piece of techno is the result. This is a characteristic of the EP. It’s hard to know where you’re being lead, dark alleys run into more dark alleys and this can leave a sense of dissatisfaction at times. “7am” is slow burning, elements of Berlin dub combining with slender drums for a track of functional 4/4 dimensions. Perhaps the most interesting comes last. “VvvXvvV” is grotty and industrial. BPMs drop as this lumbering lament ends.
I’ve heard a number of Keita Sano EPs and his output sits a little uneasily with me. He’s a young artist and at times a sense of development is missing. This is the case with Marin California. There’s definite merit here but there’s also something lacking as tracks fall into the territory of DJ tool. Stingray was always going to be hard to follow, and has proven to be so.
Marin California is available on Lower Parts.