Boomkat Product Review:
Kenny Larkin takes control of his 2nd album for a necessary 25 year anniversary edition on his Art Of Dance label, newly expanded for a definitive 2LP version
As a member of Detroit’s second wave of producers alongside Jeff Mills and Cral Craig, Larkin will forever be associated with the style’s most sophisticated operators. Released in 1995, ‘Metaphors’ was his sophomore album after ‘Azimuth’ only the year before, and cleanly matches that album for influence and class, containing some all time classics in the likes of ‘Nocturnal’, along with high points of 313 hi-tek jazz in ‘Amethyst’ and the jagged downstroke of ‘Java’, plus the first time inclusion of his banger ‘Catatonic (First State)’ and the heady trip of ‘Life Goes On.’
When contemporary writers and techno commentators speak of something being lost or maladapted in the translation of Detroit techno to its Euro forms, Kenny Larkin’s characterful music surely stands as a strong example of Detroit’s ingenuity and vision that could teach subsequent generations how to do it with style and finesse; a music business studies diploma, big ego and twitchy mixer hands may land the bookings, but fuck knows you need a soul to sound as good as this.