Review: Kirill – Ah

All profits from this release go to Support for Belarus. More information here.

Three tracks (and a bonus alt mix) of pounding, hissing distorted techno from Belarus. Every sound here has been doubled in size, with beats chafing against the synthesisers and leaving all textures with tattered edges; everything crammed into the foreground, unashamedly bloated and unrefined. We start with “Ah”, whose plosive headache bass drum seems to be speeding away from those submarine alarm electronics. The piece manages to stay in rhythmic alignment for the whole five minutes as it pushes inexorably toward falling apart, and the fact that it doesn’t conclude with disparate loops spiralling into their own orbits feels like something of a miracle. “Give” centres on a relentless demand courtesy of a vocal loop (“give it to me good!”), with the request rendered rabid – foaming with a desire verging on a demonic hijack – by the gnashing acid of the accompanying synths. “Tuk Tuk” lowers the urgency to let more of the darkness in, with cyborg mutterings and low-frequency whirrs holding the piece in a cheerless lull. Perhaps the true masterstroke of the EP is the inclusion of Drvg Cvlture’s mix of the title track, which sounds like the original captured from the wrong side of the club entrance door: murkier in execution, throttled back in impact. While it works to emphasise the nauseating hums at the base of the piece, it also renders Kirill’s three convulsive missives even harsher and more unstable in contrast.

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