There is a new Kangding Ray album and it’s excellent. Yeah, that is not so surprising… But it is still very good news. Building on “OR” and a series of EPs and remixes, “Solens Arc” is the clearest statement of Kangding Ray’s interpretation of techno. The result is a remarkably self-contained album, which stands in stark contrast both to the glut of lo-fi house and techno, and the rather laboured attempts at techno from some of his Raster-Noton labelmates. While the album is split into four sections / arcs, it has a very clear and cohesive narrative. It also benefits greatly from its brevity – Kangding Ray does not overstay his welcome, with the album clocking in around the 50 minute mark.
The beauty of “Solens Arc” lies in the way it perfectly blends the existing KR aesthetic with music that is much more directly orientated for the dancefloor. It is a clear early highlight of 2014, and it reminded me that I am not bored of techno, it is just that there is a shitload of mediocre techno floating around these days. When techno sounds like KR, it’s impossible to be bored.