Review: For their fourth split release. Granulart brings together well-known techno producers with some rising artists. Inigo Kennedy's "Stellation" is a great stepping track that combines the UK producer's signature crystalline synths with dense drum patterns, while on "Uncoperative Cog" Stanislav Tolkachev teams up with Albert Chiovenda for a searing rhythm track that revolves around pile-driving drums. The tracks from label regulars Kessel and Eric Fetcher are just as impressive. On "The Return of the Archons", Fetcher drops a mesmerising, dubbed out track that also features bleak synths, while Kessel's "Codebreaker" resounds to tough, visceral drums and is the kind of dense tool track that wouldn't sound out of place on a Purposemaker record.
Review: Following on from the release last year of his Strata album, Inigo Kennedy opens his 2019 account for Token. Remaining true to his sound, the title track fuses raw break beats with ghostly melodies that soar and swirl in a majestic fashion. Like the best techno, it strikes a balance between depth and force. "Tone Poem" sees the UK producer venture down a similar path, although in this instance the broken beats are heavier and more pronounced, while the melodic elements flit past in the background. Kennedy ends the release with "Turmoil", which is again a near-perfect fusion of rumbling break beats and epic, melancholic expression.
Review: Nearly four years after he put out his last album, Vaudeville, Inigo Kennedy delivers Strata, also on Token. While the UK producer is best known for his skewed, wiry techno, his latest album marks a change of sorts. "Clarion Call (Return To Nothing)" is a serene ambient affair, and could have come from a film sound track, while on "Mood Shift" he allies dreamy textures to a linear club groove. There are also more typical Inigo Kennedy tracks, including the tranced out melodies and broken beats of "Trapezoid" and the pumping, epic groove of "Shudder", but as the melancholic spacey textures of "Stillness Expanded" demonstrate, Inigo Kennedy has revealed a new layer to his musical creativity on this release.
Review: Inigo Kennedy is one of Token's core artists and has done more than most artists to define its sound. Following on from his collaborative work on the label's Momentum compilation, he now delivers two straight club tracks. "Magma" features melodies that weave and warble their way over a linear groove and tough, full-on kicks. It's the sound of the UK producer at his most direct and is sure to appeal to fans of the Belgian label's more heads-down releases. On "Mantle", he delves even farther into this approach. The same melodic flourishes also bubble to the surface, but the drums and percussion are even more furious, propelling Kennedy into the peak time.
Review: Kennedy has put out some corkers before on Token - 2013's Cathedral springs to mind - but the tile track on his latest offering for the label really ups the ante. Less upfront than usual, it revolves around a steely, stepping rhythm, while the spellbinding tapestry of hooks and melodies ensure it stands apart. There are elements of trance, 'Artificial Intelligence' and IDM all audible here, but the manner in which the UK producer blends them so seamlessly together will leave audiences reeling. "Glacier" is a mid-tempo affair, led by a stepping rhythm and gentle electronic pulses, while "Voyager" sees Kennedy at his most cosmic as he reaches for the stars over a pulsing groove, but it's on "Tornado" that he really causes a storm.
Review: "Surrender", the latest Inigo Kennedy release on Token, follows the unmistakable sound that the UK producer has developed almost exclusively for the Belgian label over the past decade. A busy, glitchy rhythm drives away while floaty, atmospheric synths soar and glide over the arrangement. It's hypnotic and spellbinding, but also manages to kick hard - and is not entirely dissimilar to his 2013 "Cathedral" release on the label. "Castles In The Air" is even heavier and harder; tough, distorted kicks and a mangled rhythm hammer away, providing the basis for Kennedy's airy, trancey melodies. It's another prime example of Kennedy's distinctive sound.
Review: One of the biggest releases to date on Token gets remixed by an all-star cast. However, in keeping with the Belgian label's approach, there is nothing predictable about this release. Kangding Ray's 'Dies Irae' version is slow and solemn, with heavy drums drawn out at 50bpm. Token has scored a major coup by securing a remix from Regis. The 'Human Host' version raises the tempo, but sees the Downwards boss remain in pensive mode, the layered chords giving way to menacing bass pulses. Dasha Rush's ''Requiem For Humanity" take isn't quite as bleak as its name suggests, although the dramatic piano swirls, crashing drums and muffled vocal samples conjure up a supernatural atmosphere. Finally, Efdemin pushes "Requiem" towards the dance floor with his bleep and clap-laden take.
Review: Woof! If you are looking for a massive slab of techno, you won't find anything as hefty as Aphelion. A package of tracks from Belgian label Token, Aphelion is essentially a primer for the best in contemporary techno, featuring contributions from Surgeon, Rodhad, James Ruskin, Karenn and Planetary Assault System alongside some label regulars. You will have probably already heard "Fixed Action Pattern" from Surgeon - it's possibly one of this year's finest techno tracks - but it's got some stiff competition here with Ruskin in particularly funked up form on "No Trace". Aphelion is a real statement and proof of Token's current rank as a European techno powerhouse alongside the likes of Delsin and Ostgut Ton.
Review: This fourth album from British techno veteran Inigo Kennedy - his first since 2010's decidedly ambient September Pieces - has something of a "catch-all" feel. You see, Vaudeville refuses to stick to one sound, style or groove, instead referencing the many styles of techno and experimental electronic music that have inspired the popular producer over the course of his 18-year career. So, there are murky, IDM-inspired techno floor fillers (the melodious but faintly foreboding "Requiem"), early British psychedelic techno ("Plaintive"), dense, darkroom grooves ("Vallecula"), classic Yorkshire bleep and bass ("Petrichor"), Kompakt-ish organic techno ("Winter"), and spooky, droning ambience ("Narrative").
Review: Belgian techno titans Token Records initiate the tease campaign for Inigo Kennedy's upcoming album Vaudeville with this two-track sampler. Kennedy's decade-spanning career has seen him produce under a number of aliases and for some respected labels, but he's seemingly found a perfect home in Token, having inaugurated the label back in 2007. Those familiar with Kennedy's production style will no doubt be salivating at the prospect of his forthcoming fifth studio album after spending some quality time with the two tracks here. Both show Kennedy's deft balance of heaving club-focused rhythms and experimental blend of melody and texture, creating something that doesn't sound unlike a contemporary Berghain-inspired update of the early '90s material of Warp and R&S.
Review: Kennedy has beaten a singular path over the past few years, fusing the gentle, wide-eyed melodies of early 90s 'intelligent techno' with his own particularly brittle and complex rhythms. Confusingly, there is only a brief glimpse of this approach on his latest release. "VHSK 1" features the UK producer's trademark broken beats and those sweeping synths, filtered to infinity against a hail of dessicated percussion. Elsewhere, Kennedy shows a different side to his musical personality; "Pithead" is a relentless dance floor cut, its bass booming and skipping hats propelling it forward. There's a similar vibe on "VHSK 2", but on this occasion, dank acid provides the main focus for Kennedy's relentless rhythms.
Review: Ever an overlooked force in the more atmospheric, meditative realms of techno, Inigo Kennedy steps up to Chicago's Prosthetic Pressings with a release that perfectly demonstrates his grasp of tension, sound design and utterly immersive composition. "Insist" works around the simple loop of a menacing kick drum and a plaintive synth line, ever-so-slowly feeding in more layers of nail-biting textures. "Persist" has a more searching quality with its whisper of a shuffled groove and the ring-modulated pattering lead melody, but it's still utterly removed from any kind of immediacy. Donor drops a remix of "Insist" that works a more discernible broken techno pattern into the main theme of the original track, making for a more functional if less engaging version.
Review: As his recent Cathedral single showed, UK producer Inigo Kennedy is an expert in creating epic yet grainy techno grooves. While that release gave listeners the sense that they were reaching for unspecified heights, it also kept them tethered to the ground via concrete-strength beats. There's a similar aesthetic at play on "Collector". The rhythms are militaristic and dense, but again they support an eerie, building synth line that hangs like smog over the arrangement. The same approach applies on the title track; Kennedy's rhythms are slamming and filtered, but it's those synth lines, detuned and out there but also strangely catchy, that leave a lasting impression.
Review: Token has sensibly made all of the tracks from Kr!z debut commercial mix available in an unmixed format. The Belgian label has put out a wide range of music, and its owner represents its diversity well on this selection. With the inclusion of Xhin's twisted, abstract rhythms, the plaintive ambience of Inigo Kennedy's 'Obsidian' and Surgeon's electro take on Grovskopa's "Sex & Violins", the compilation shows the label's reflective side. However, Token is first and foremost a dance floor label and Introspective includes the insane drones of Ctrl's "Sockets", Rodhad's spooky "Spomeniks", the glacial trance of Inigo Kennedy's "Cathedral" and the deranged tonal assault that is Makaton's "Endless Revolt".
Review: Inigo Kennedy's Spectre release for Token was a definite record of two halves, with one track providing severe, Berghain ready techno, and the other providing ghostly melodies with echoes of Aphex Twin. It's a similarly engaging story on Cathedral, with the title track providing a fierce breakbeat together with a cavernous harpsichord melody, and though it may not seem like the most obvious of combinations, its pulsing bass undercurrent ensures Kennedy's usual power is not diminished. "Chamber" plays things slightly straighter, providing a more forceful dancefloor cut imbued with gentle hints of dub techno that bristle with the producer's usual freshness, while "Accordion" completes things with another subtly melodic cut filled with unpredictability, as stuttering drums are surrounded by synths that seem to fade in and out of view. Kennedy has gone from strength to strength with each release and this record is no different.
Review: Inigo Kennedy is one of Token's key artists and has played a central role in shaping the Belgian label's sound. On the evidence of this release however, both the prolific UK producer and Kr!z imprint appear to be turning a corner. The first signs are audible on "Wonderhorse". Following in the wake of the inspired, advanced rhythms of Go Hiyama's release for Token, it sounds relatively understated, its squelchy bassline and crackling percussion grooving in that off-beat, unpredictable manner that marks each release on the label. However, its segue later on in the track reveals Kennedy's intent, with ghostly, evocative melodies introduced. It sets the scene for "Spectre", which despite departing radically from the Token script, makes for one of the label's finest moments. On this occasion, the bass is warm and fuzzy, but it is still powerful and its weight provides the basis for a liquid, glassy rhythm, not dissimilar to the kind of arrangement that Alex Cortex might serve up. Like "Wonderhorse", it's all about the second half of the track, and Kennedy delivers a ghostly melody that has echoes of early Aphex Twin, especially "Xtal", as an eerie vocal lingers in the background. It's a far cry from Token's advanced club techno, but the lingering melodic spectre proves most satisfying.
Review: Inigo Kennedy discards with the deepness shown on recent EPs for some thoroughly dirty techno on his latest EP for Token. Heavily road tested on his worldwide DJ travels, "Revenge" and "Scatter" operate on different levels, with the former building layers of dubby rhythms over the foundation worrying drums. It's peak time business which contrasts with "Revenge", a dystopian trawl through skittering percussion, IDM soundscapes and bass that sounds fit to burst. Remix duties are undertaken by perma busy Blawan, commissioned to tweak "Revenge" after Kennedy realized the two had a mutual appreciation. As with the recent productions from the SoYo hero, this is brutal techno dominated by those unique drum sounds.
Review: Like Downwards back catalogue, there is something bleakly industrial yet alluring about "Manifesto". Boasting a title that sounds like it could have been named after a Throbbing Gristle project, the mood here is abrasive and unforgiving. The brilliantly named Death Abyss deliver dark breaking techno, with corrosive riffs unfolding over lurching drums. Meanwhile Sagae's "No Way Out" features harsh beats and a slamming rhythm, while the ghostly chords suggest that a supernatural force is at play. Thankfully, Inigo Kennedy delivers some light relief: while it would be difficult to describe "Pakkanen" as mellow, its mournful melodies and lithe, metallic rhythms are in contrast to the punishing soundtracks that preceded it.
Review: Having played an integral part in the early UK techno scene, Inigo Kennedy returns to Belgium's Token imprint to deliver an old school sounding piece of experimental techno. Twisted melodies, wonky rhythms, subtle FX and a light industrial atmosphere give the track an early Warp feel but it maintains a modern day sentiment through some slick production. Marcel Dettmann gets hold of the remix, readying "The Shard" to take on a long, dark and smokey night at Berlin's Berghain.