Boomkat Product Review:
David Letellier's Kangding Ray project returns to Raster Noton for a second album of sophisticated, often very accessible electronics, serving as an intriguing follow-up to the Ryoji Ikeda album that set heads spinning only a week or two ago. As with his debut album for the label (the excellent Stabil), Letellier's music operates at a more instantly digestible corner of the Raster Noton universe than we might ordinarily be used to. There's even an extensive use of vocals featured on Automne Fold, but far from the obliterated, mechanised restructuring of Cosey Fanni Tutti's voice on the recent Coh album, here you'll find comparatively untreated, naturalistic performances - particularly on pieces like 'Idle', 'World Within Words' or 'A Protest Song' where you'll find yourself confronted by something as conventional and un-Raster Noton-like as an actual song. Even Letellier's production approach - although overlapping somewhat with the more recognisable micro-rhythmic idiom of the label - marks a departure from the stricture and austerity we've come to love. Listen closely to this record and you'll be able to make out bowed guitars, violins, and even pianos augmenting the precise beat frameworks and angular digital tones. In the general scheme of things Automne Fold still sounds like a vehemently experimental work, but there's every chance that a wider audience will find a way into the music of Raster Noton through this release: seldom do melody and conventional harmony flourish so openly and so convincingly as they do on this album. There's no cause for concern though, because none of this feels like a compromise. Even the most stringent followers of the label's catalogue will find much to love in the glitch rhythms that fold together 'Quarante's strings and voices, or the telecom whirr underpinning the drone tones of 'Palisades'. Highly Recommended.