Conforce: Kinetic Image (Delsin)
Dutch producer Boris Bunnik has a fairly distinct sensibility, whether he’s releasing electro as Versalife or minimal techno as Conforce. Both projects share an icy cool about them, with the music emphasizing open space as much as the elements in the foreground. Kinetic Image continues the path that he established with his last album Escapism (2011) and pushes out into even more sublime territory. Take “Semantic Field,” for instance, which brims with effects and details but somehow feels effortless and sleek. It never picks up with any sense of dancefloor momentum, but it’s still a pretty good representation of the Conforce aesthetic, spacious and textural and rhythmic without feeling overly aggressive. While some Conforce tracks can feel more direct (last year’s Time Dilation EP, for instance), much of Kinetic Image is surprisingly inert, eschewing techno and instead blissing out with drippy reverb and a dub-like sensibility.
The production is precise and almost clinical, carried by Bunnik’s signature coolness. There are nods to dance music’s expansive history such as the little acid squiggles of “Underwater Settlers” or the steady closed hi-hats of “Spatiotemporal,” but all in all Bunnik curiously opts out of satisfying conventions and instead plumbs the depths for something deeper, colder, more cerebral. Check out “Formerly Programmed Decisions” for the chilliest and most clinical sounds of the album, sitting right in the center of the hour-long tracklist, recalling some of the alien space of Mika Vainio’s recently resurrected Ø moniker, but with some extra sleight of hand. Cool and sublime, well worth a listen.