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Boomkat Product Review:
Skudgy rave ballistics by Kouhei Matsunaga’s ever-offbeat project for Berlin’s Bruk
‘Climb Downhill 2’ marks some 25 years of releases by Sean Booth and Mika Vainio-collaborator Kouhei Matsunaga, and five since his NHK yx Koyxen last danced for DFA and Diagonal. It follows suit with previous releases on Low End Activist’s Bruk with a physically impressive sound and approach to rugged club fundamentals, with a devil found firmly in the details, too. That said, it’s also weirder and more psychoactive than anything on the label before him, often recalling the hands-on crudeness of $hit & $hine and hobbled grooves of Matthew Herbert in its make-up.
The 13 tracks are primed for oddballs, loosey goosey dancers and adventurous DJs to really get their teeth into. His signature acrid melodies are in effect from the front on ‘Fluido and Piacing’, and rubbed to a sour nub on ‘Lyre of Theodor Kellner’, and lace the whole album with a inimitable tang. There’s sturdy club tackle in the squirming acidic techno stepper ‘When Getting Involved’, and what sounds like a turgid Herbert on ‘Drive Smooth’, plus the white-hot electrical burn of ‘Let’s Open the Pandora Box’, while others are better for the rave in your imagination, such as the twisted mentasmic lope of ‘Witch of Nikolai Gogol’ and Kaman Leung-like squashed swang to ‘It’s Not Like Touching’.