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20 March 2014

Inigo Kennedy: VHSK / Emitter (Token)

These two 12-inch singles from prolific techno producer Inigo Kennedy show off his chops through a series of fairly no-nonsense tracks, though each one is as compelling as it is tightly wound. VHSK kicks off with two parts, starting off with an industrial grind of drones and sequencing that never quite kicks into high gear, instead percolating patiently and setting the stage for the more rousing second act.

“VHSK II” has a nice hypnotic circularity to it, echoing familiar techno tropes that hark back to late 90s Tresor in the best of ways.

But it’s “Pithead,” the third and final track of the EP, that is the true banger. It’s almost menacing with its dark stabs and ominous drones, but it’s by far the punchiest track for mixing, distilled and crisp. The Emitter EP shares the trend with two additional slabs of fairly hard techno, with “Emitter” combining aforementioned qualities, punchy and hypnotic all at once. Kennedy has a knack for repetitive patterns that somehow feel more hypnotic than simply monotonous, and both tracks showcase it fully. When the shimmering, busy foreground of “Emitter” falls away, the track chugs along, peeling back layers presumably for ease of mixing, but it also gives the music some welcome breathing room.

“Collector” is even better, strong right out of the gate with its bleeping lead pattern and hard kick pattern. It’s a slithering snake of a track, but it hits all of the right notes for both the dancefloor and headphones, in my opinion. I’ve barely dipped my toes into Kennedy’s vast discography, but fans of techno would do well to look into these as a starting point. It’s techno with a capital T and a bit of added muscle, a combination that works especially well.

Buy VHSK: Boomkat | Bleep | iTunes | Amazon
Buy Emitter: Boomkat | Bleep | iTunes | Amazon

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