Strata by Inigo Kennedy
Techno stalwart delivers his best work to date
Inigo Kennedy. Now there's a man who's done his 10,000 hours. Since his first in 1996, the British producer has released more than a hundred EPs, LPs collaborations and compilation tracks. A pivotal moment was his first record on Token back in 2007, which also happened to be Token's inaugural release; their working relationship since becoming a core element of the label's success. Strata is Kennedy's second album with Token and builds on his ongoing fascination with planetary layers, developing further themes initially sketched out on his Magma/Mantle EP from earlier this year.
With a masterful handle on contrast and balance, Kennedy works the listener's emotions, rousing one minute, jolting the next, with a fine play-off between melody and rhythm; a juxtaposition best heard in the opening pair of tracks, where his Ambient reworking of earlier track Clarion Call (from 2015) sets a tranquil vibe but is soon shattered with the bare beats that open Trapezoid. After another minute though, the emotional wringer is rolling once again when a soaring synthesiser refrain takes hold. This particular mix of robust IDM-style beats and emotionally-charged melody is a key Inigo Kennedy signature, and almost every track on Strata bears this mark.
Stillness Expanded and the closing Oblivion with its tinges of Acid, while still soaked in rich texture and built on a more moderate BPM, signal a contemplative vibe where the melody veers to mournful. This slower-paced form of Techno is where Kennedy excels. An Ambient Techno album next perhaps?
- Rating: 8/10
- Listens: 19
- Highlight: Oblivion
- Label: Token
- Release Date: 18th May 2018