KIKI: Kaiku (BPitch Control)


Posted on Jun 18th 2009 01:03 am

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Kiki: Kaiky

BPitch Control 2009
11 Tracks. 63mins10secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD | iTunes

It’s been nearly five years since Kiki’s debut album, Run With Me, was issued on BPitch Control, and eight years since Berlin-based Finnish musician Joakim Ijäs first landed on the label, but while this may seem like a long time between releases, the man was far from idle in the interim, distilling EPs, remixes and the occasional MP3-only release with insistent regularity in the last four years.

Kaiku, Ijäs’s second album, marks a giant step forward from the pretty generic warehouse dance of Run With Me into much more subtle and elegant techno. While its predecessor often felt hindered by late-eighties electro stiffness, Kaiku, with its beautiful and, at times, haunting, soundscapes, clean linear grooves and sleek production, feels very much of its time, and truly at home on BPitch. Right from the onset of the spacious Autumn Leaves, which opens, through to the moody closing piece, Helios, Ijäs continuously rearranges his minimal techno to allow it to fill much vaster spaces than it ordinarily would. Whether it is via the polished motifs of After The Storm, Starlider or Mogadishu, the soulful brushes of Good Voodoo, the Björk-esque Immortal, or the steady groove forms of No Words Necessary or Twins, the control demonstrated is total and, while the focus changes with each new piece, the flow remains pretty constant all the way through. At times, it seems as particular pieces are, for a moment, stuck, with no obvious way out, but Ijäs knows how to inject a fresh rush of energy exactly when it is needed. This is particularly the case on Good Voodoo, when a second vocal line comes in to prop up the main one and lifts up the somewhat all too linear structure of the track for a moment, or, later, on the beautiful Living On FFWD, where, after a pretty stern first section, a synth, strangely evocative of Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, kicks in at regular interval to ominous effect, the impression reinforced by a distorted human voice later on.

It is clear, listening to Kaiku, that Joakim Ijäs has used his time between albums wisely, building on his intermediary work to consolidate his sound and develop a much more mature approach, resulting in this album feeling much more relevant than its predecessor.


Icon: arrow Kiki (MySpace) | BPitch Control
Icon: arrow Buy: CD | iTunes

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