Sunday, 4 April 2010

Kyle Hall – The Dirty Thouz EP [Wild Oats] | Kaychunk/You Know What I [Hyperdub]

Two pretty different releases from the young Detroit producer: The Dirty Thouz EP on his own Wild Oats imprint takes a route down the almost lo-fi clockwork techno avenue, a retro leaning spectral take on the Detroit techno sound, full of soul and rolling glitchy hip-hop-esq beats. While the Hyperdub offering is a more straight up techno effort but with a twist.

The Detroit axis of vaguely new artists from the aforementioned Kyle Hall to Omar-S have reunited my love for techno, which has been on the wane slightly in favour of dubstep, UK funky hybrids and hip-hop beats over the last few years at least. These guys almost sound like the Detroit equivalent of what Burial is to garage and dubstep. They channel the ghosts of their cities dance music past, keeping it slightly elusive and a tad nostalgic while still pushing it in new and interesting directions. But Kyle Hall and Omar-S aim more squarely at the dance floors while they’re at it.

The two KMFH tracks from Dirty Thouz, ‘I'm KMFH GIRL!’ and ‘Luv 4 KMFH’ show Kyle at his most soulful and sparse, with woozy winding synth lines and bleep funk bass tones over winding beats that feel like they’re warping like they’re being played off a broken tape deck. They balance soulful warmth with a haunted machine like skeletal existence brilliantly. They fit somewhere between 80s b-boy electro, the twisted hip-hop soul of J Dilla and the ghosts of Detroit’s past.

The opener on the Hyperdub 12”, ‘Kaychunk’ is a rolling techno affair, twisting and flexing in an almost garage-like fashion but sticking pretty firmly to Kyle’s deep funk drenched techno. Bleeping lead lines and squelching bass that really brings the boogie is the flavour here. Reminiscent of DaM-Funk at times but in a KMFH state of mind at all times. But it’s ‘You Know What I’ that see Kyle Hall playing with a dubstep tempo and creating a lush, synth funk techno track that meets somewhere between the purple funk of Bristol or LA, the deep lush techno of Detroit and the spaced out bass-soul of London’s dubstep sounds, its an unexpected and very welcome twist. Both 12”s show a unique side to his productions and re-affirm his one to watch status.

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