Inigo Kennedy: Vaudeville (Token)
Inigo Kennedy’s debut album for Token builds on the promise of the string of 12" records that have been coming out over the last few years. The most noteworthy thing about Kennedy’s tracks here are that they simultaneously manage to be fairly no nonsense techno bangers, but painted with a heavy melancholy gouache. Very few tracks aren’t aimed at the dancefloor directly, namely the opening prologue “Narrative,” a nice airy precursor to the rest of the album. Several tracks are gloomier than others, but “Plaintive” is the best of them by a longshot. It’s a perfect blend of utility and gloom, with swooning, ponderous chords that glide over an otherwise taut minimal techno track. Elsewhere, “Requiem,” “Winter,” and “Petrichor” all also have a heavy gravity about them, equally propulsive for the dancefloor yet wistful. The contrast between reverberated pads awash with melancholy and punchy, tightly wound techno rhythm kits is a handsome one that informs much of Vaudeville, making it an album that succeeds both on the ‘floor and off. Not every track on the album is so outstanding, but I should be clear that there are no bad ones — just some that outshine the rest. It is in those gloomy bilateral tracks, straddling the dancefloor and something more intimate, that Kennedy really takes us places, and it’s a strong showing through and through. Highly recommended.