Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kangding Ray - Automne Fold (Raster-Noton)

An amazing array of releases from Raster-Noton can drain any serious collector's wallet. My latest search includes the twelve super rare twenty-minute monthly releases titled 20' to 2000, and I highly doubt that I'll be able to score it for anything less than a thousand bucks. Oh well... So instead I'll give myself a present of Kangding Ray's sophomore release, Automne Fold. And the album more than satisfies my experimental, organic, and dark rhythmic cravings. Kangding Ray is an alias of Berlin based David Letellier who creates synthetic, glitchy, and yet very musical compositions of analog tones, micro-programmed beats, and digital errors. Letellier's musical experience includes being a guitarist and a drummer for a band with rock and jazz influences. Stacking against his electronic music design is his diploma in architecture - perhaps Letellier erects and demolishes soundscapes in the same way. The sound of Kangding Ray is not as minimal as the usual roster of Raster-Noton (e.g. CoH, Ø, and the label owner, Carsten Nicolai). It is still experimental, super intelligent, yet at the same time very listenable - I found Alva Noto's Xerrox Vol. 1 conceptually very fascinating, but for some reason the album did not remain in my rotations. Kangding Ray, on the other hand, seems to fit more along his contemporaries, like Hecq, Subheim, Kattoo and Murcof. There are even lyrics in some of the "songs". Perhaps Automne Fold will create a gateway into the label's catalogue for listeners with a less sensitive ear. Be sure to pick up Kangding Ray's 2006 release on Raster-Noton, titled Stabil. Highly recommended. Makes my Best of 2008 list so far...

myspace.com/kangdingray | kangdingray.com

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