Pruitt Igoe Pruitt Igoe

EPs

Kangding Ray Kangding RayPruitt Igoe

8 / 10

Kangding Ray Pruitt Igoe RASTER-NOTON (R-N124, 12” + digital)

So far, Kangding Ray had been the friendliest of the Raster-Noton family. At a safe distance from the sonic virulence in which producers like Byetone move around and somewhat closer to the post-glitch sound of Alva Noto, David Letellier offered an approach to digital electronica with one foot in pop –his melodies resounded with a crystalline timbre and you could say they had, apart from being fragile, a breath of romance– and another one in ambient. At least, that’s what you’ll find if you listen to one of their two albums to date, the precise “Stabil” (2006) and the friendlier “Automne Fold” (2008). But “Pruitt Igoe” is something so different that it could have been made by someone else. Here, Kangding Ray enters the complex universe of avant-techno and situates his aesthetic interest near the Raster-Noton producer whom we said previously he was the furthest away from, Byetone. The two takes on “Pruitt Igoe” –the first with the title “Rise”, and the latter “Fall”– are manoeuvres on the exterior limits of the 4x4, exercises in avant-garde techno which, as could only happen on a label as interested in contemporary design and architecture as the Berlin imprint, are inspired by the construction and posterior demolition (between the fifties and seventies) of the urban complex of Pruitt Igoe in San Louis, largely considered one of the major failures in modern architecture. This is techno that transmits actuality at first hearing and decadence afterwards: the first beats are energetic, only to lose force, little by little, and dissolve in a gloomy conclusion, in which the two invited remixers take part as well: Alva Noto, who joins the cold and technoid aesthetic, and a surprising Ben Frost who covers his own interpretation of the track (adequately subtitled “demolition”) with terror and coldness.

Ronald Fritze

Kangding Ray - Pruitt Igoe (Alva Noto Remodel)

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