Inigo Kennedy
Vaudeville


4.5
superb

Review

by Kristof B. USER (6 Reviews)
July 5th, 2014 | 51 replies


Release Date: 06/02/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Melody and Melancholy

Some of 2014's most engaging techno records have achieved their appeal exactly by going beyond "pure" (whatever this actually means) techno. Gesloten Cirkel's Submit X drew heavily from electro, synth pop, and acid and then threw it all on top of some of the most brutal drums in recent memory. Answer Code Request, on the other hand, showed us to have more than just a passing interest in the UK underground and ended up with Code, an album with a sound that sometimes felt closer to a dubstep mutation than techno. It just seems to be easier to escape than to be confined by the rather limited and already thoroughly explored sonic parameter space that is techno.

From the start of Inigo Kennedy's Vaudeville, however, the intention appears to be clear: besides kicking off with the obvious atmospheric intro, the initial tracks deliver the trade mark sound of the Token label, a relentless, rolling brand of techno driven by trashing percussion. This is not that surprising, after all Kennedy, together with Ashley Burchett (aka Ø [Phase]), has been a torch-bearer of the label since its inception. But a vaudeville consists of more than just one form of entertainment, and Vaudeville is indeed more than just a set of exciting, floor-ready tunes.

Over his already two-decade-long career (with Vaudeville being his fifth LP) Kennedy sharpened his production abilities, thereby exclusively focusing on a purely digital approach to sound design. Not only does this allow him to make Vaudeville sound meticulously crafted, but also to evoke emotion. Sure, a track like "Plaintive" is at its core still as ripping as expected, but the bleeping melodies manage to evoke a slow-burning moodiness, which is further expanded on by the album's slightly toned down (but still muscular) highlight "Lullaby". Tracks such as "Winter" and "Petrichor" basically further explore this blueprint but still manage to bring additional fine-tuning or slight twists to the overall equation. Final track "NGC5128" is again a fast-paced banger, but its haunting atmospherics recall the emotion of the album's center part and still elevate it to something slightly more.

The successful pairing of an uncompromising, purist techno framework with exquisite sound design are not the reason why Vaudeville succeeds. In fact, they are merely the instruments Inigo Kennedy uses to create a truly memorable album: the astonishing thing is how he manages to twist and stretch this bunch of ones and zeroes in to something that is, for lack of a better description, deeply human.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Typhoner
July 5th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lullaby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ejZlk5S71k
Petrichor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbdTIV8BKxU
NGC5128: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P-AbYoCbyo

Because Sputnik needs more techno.

EDIT: there's actually a full-blown stream
https://soundcloud.com/tokenrecords/sets/inigo-kennedy-vaudeville

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2014


31215 Comments


Love the album

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2014


31215 Comments


'Vallecula' is a fucking warehouse stomper

Typhoner
July 6th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A comment!

Yeah, I love how he combines the brutally functional with the emotive, but I guess I already made that clear in the review. Speaking of which: any comments on that?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


31215 Comments


I like it. It's a little bit short, given the high marks, but it gets the job done. I shall reward you
1 pos

Typhoner
July 7th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks! yeah, I always find it kinda difficult to talk about music that long, unless I have to bring in more context and stuff

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2014


3454 Comments


Ooh this looks like it could be very tasty if I liked techno more, may even check it out soon. Sweet review, reminds me of something RA might do to describe the album, have a pos

Typhoner
July 7th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have you checked out Gesloten Cirkel? Because I feel that one appeals to a much wider audience. Still, checking out a link of this cant hurt. I don't really know how I would tackle the review otherwise, although I could be more technical and in that way be more RA-like :-) But I don't really see the point in that (if someone else already did that) and I tried to focus a bit more on general characteristics.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2014


7124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Quite a few stellar techno albums out this year. Good review too man.

ShitsofRain
July 7th 2014


5899 Comments


recondite in the recs section

i'm in

Digging: Anthony Shakir - Frictionalism 1994-2009

Typhoner
July 8th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, and quite a varied stream of records, too

This one sometimes really sounds like the dungeon version of On Acid

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


6451 Comments


Review says all that needs to be said. Great work!

I'll listen when I have the chance, but the samples you provided sound terrific. Answer Code Request was stunning as well. Best album to come out of Ostgut Ton in quite a while imo.

Digging: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

PunchforPunch
July 9th 2014


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So much amazing techno this year goddamn

Digging: Robert Hood - Fabric 39

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2014


31215 Comments


I'll listen when I have the chance, but the samples you provided sound terrific. Answer Code Request was stunning as well. Best album to come out of Ostgut Ton in quite a while imo.


You didn't like A Series Of Shocks?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


6451 Comments


I seem to have overlooked that one.

Typhoner
July 9th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys

A Series Of Shocks is great, too. It's why I added it to the rec list ;-)

Eloriaz
July 9th 2014


696 Comments


I shall listen!!!

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


6451 Comments


Percussion is tight on this.

Typhoner
July 21st 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

finally received the physical copy. the liner notes summarize all the software he used to make this. quite a list lol

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2014


6451 Comments


CD or wax? Saw it hanging in the window of one of my shops in Ghent, but ultimately declined from getting it.



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