Kate Simko Lights Out
It's hard to believe that Kate Simko is only now releasing her debut album. After years of EPs, 12"s, and even a full-length soundtrack project, Simko's solo work has felt (and sounded) like an established techno fixture since the release of her Strumm EP in 2006. And yet, here it is, her debut long-player, the warm, analog-dressed Lights Out. Inspired by her time spent in Buenos Aires, the album maintains Simko's signature brand of laser-guided dark techno while a warm sense of detail and hints of cross-rhythm gesture toward the album's point of inspiration. The dancing low-end of "Mira Vos" is an early highlight, and when taken alongside "Last Breath," Simko's usage of giddy basslines and combination of minimal techno with balmy mood wouldn't be out of place alongside the work of Gui Borrato or Matias Aguayo, who mine similar sonic territory. The only sizable missteps on Lights Out are the three tracks featuring guest vocalists, which break from the otherwise impressive sense of space and propulsion on the 10-track debut. Namely, "Flight From B.A." is an awkward letdown after the beautiful opener, "Beneath," as the song's tight groove is marred by the presence of Kevin Knapp's singing. However, those vocal tracks remain minor flaws, as Lights Out stands as a strong summation of Simko's breadth of talent, and serves as another well-placed step forward in her already impressive discography.
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