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  • Filed under: Review
  • 04/16/2012

Pick

Lando Kal "Rhythm Sektion" b/w "Inquisition"

Over the past year or so, Lando Kal has dropped an impressive series of releases, but "Rhythm Sektion" b/w "Inquisition," his latest 12" for Hotflush, is without question the finest thing he's ever done. While the Berlin-via-New York-via-San Francisco producer continues to build a solid discography as one half of Lazer Sword, he's also done an excellent job establishing his own voice as a solo artist, an effort that really blossoms on this new single.

"Rhythm Sektion" is absolutely the star here, a sleek piece of techno accentuated with ghostly vocal bits, some of which are borrowed from 1991 rave classic "Feel the Rhythm" by Rhythm Section—hence the song's title. It would be easy to say that Lando Kal moved to Berlin and started turning out techno like the rest of his new neighbors, but that really fails to capture what's happening here. Yes, his sound has "matured" and techno is certainly a bigger part of his musical formula than ever before, but there's nothing rigid or particularly "Berlin" about a track like "Rhythm Sektion," especially given the song's uniquely undulating rhythm. If Lando Kal's production is channelling any one place, it's Detroit, as his brand of techno is muscular, soulful, and undeniably bright, even if it's not particularly melodic. It also takes a few cues from a little further back in the Motor City's musical history, utilizing some vintage drum samples and synth sounds plucked from the old-school electro playbook.

On the b-side, "Inquisition" finds Lando Kal going deeper, crafting a methodical stormer with chunky bass tones, whispery vocal snippets, and almost alien synth melodies. It's impeccably constructed, its sonic elements twisting and turning with a subtly maniacal flair. "Inquisition" isn't a tune that gently glides into a listener's ears; it's a dark and ominous number that burrows its way into the subconscious and settles in the psyche, gleefully reveling in whatever damage it wreaks in the process. "Rhythm Sektion" might be the big tune, but "Inquisition" is the track that will keep you up at night.

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