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nhk yx koyxen-doom steppy reverb lp (diagonal)

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nhk yx koyxen: doom steppy reverb

Kouhei Matsunaga's second album as NHK yx Koyxen - his label debut for Diagonal - is a pixel-pill gobbling, see-sawing wave of techno emotions presenting the Japanese artist at his most rugged and damaged. After recent LPs from Not Waving, Elon Katz and Russel Haswell, Diagonal now excel in drawing out powerful album statements from some of the most distinctive musicians in contemporary electronic music. As bonkers as the narwhal-cavorting-with-a-rhino artwork, Doom Steppy Reverb is the skizzo brother of new beta, a 3D spec'd rally thru some of NHK's darkest, most driven material, done with a gangster swang in deft minor key arrangements that hint at a certain rudeboy vulnerability. Its seven tracks toe a fine line between novel and nasty; sidewinding from warehouse acid to brukkin' garage techno by the brutal close of "1073+snare", or basic channeling Autechre/Reich-ian chords with sole-melting synth juice in "Y", only to unexpectedly turn out a baroque scally bubble, Zomby style, with "1082_s". Make no mistake, it's a record full of club bangers, though: "L gets on Lory D levels of neo acid house squirm and "1038_lo_oct" will demolish a big room at the right time thanks to some properly toned sub-bass, adding a new weapon to Diagonal's arsenal of world-scattered radge packets. It's proper fuel for DJs, dancers and headphone excursionists - and the artwork by Guy Featherstone, makes it just a good ol' laugh to look at. This is NHK's best work - and it demands to be felt. Mastered by Matt Colton. RIYL: Demdike Stare, Gescom, Blawan, Zomby.

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