Modvs and Iori — two respected purveyors of deep strains of techno — provide the latest contributions to the Less Is Techno imprint. Below, I delve into the goods that make up LiT002.
Wormhole is a call from deep within a bubbling cauldron of electronics in Iori’s room of enchantment. With its determined bassline, it sets up a vast platform for the Japanese producer to throw on panning loops and invite his numerous machines to a controlled cacophony. However, components here may at times get lost in what feels like a more experimental and fragile side to Iori’s production. And whereas some may be put off by this, it does not entirely compromise the aesthetic of the contribution.
Ripple is a lot more reminiscent of the composed style we have grown to know Iori for. He takes his time to draw one into the mix, beginning with a simple but forward kick, creeping melody and minimalist rim-shots. From this strong core emerges a whirring, winding troupe of mechanical implements. Much like the sudden glimpse of a firefly, each synthesised loop is tweaked delicately to subtly catch the mind’s eye. With Ripple, one can sense Iori’s more methodical, patient side. He has built an 8-minute tunnel you will relish traversing.
Distinguished from Fear is Modvs first contribution to LiT002, opening the B-side. It has a raw feel to it that could easily trick one into deeming it underprocessed. However, as hazy, elysian chords drift in to meet this rough low-end a very refined environment takes shape. Enveloped in distant, indistinct susurration, this plane you find yourself on awakens profound curiosity and a deep sense of mystery. This track lingers in the mind like the thought of a ghost in the night. Another great tribute to the after-hours from the equally-mysterious Englishman.
Provoking Certain Emotion retains the theme of lingering mystery that Modvs establishes in its predecessor. This time, he sketches a ritualistic scene. The heavy-laden kick loop digs deep — beginning the ceremony with a stomping start. Higher up, a varied series of machine screeches develops, discordant in its approach but crucial to the proceedings. Anticipation is high as the enthralling lull of sing-song chords appears, carried upon the back of jingling percussion. By now you are inadvertently one with the tribe. The spell-binding lilt of its harmonies has you surrounded! Then, in a flash, the zenith is gone; and you are once again forlorn.
LiT002 as a sum of its parts commands attention and pushes one to widen their perception of each artist. Possibly continuing on from his Cold Radiance release on Field Records earlier this year, Iori shows a side to his production that is irreverent to the visceral soundscapes he is widely known for. Modvs retains his signature style of vast space that lends itself to imagination. Even so, he takes on a more proactive role in defining the experience, evoking a more precise range of emotions for each listener.
Giving its artists room to express as openly as possible appears to be the Less Is Techno way. And with 2 releases down already, there is a lot to look forward to from the young, Lyon-based collective.
Catch Modvs live in Prague tomorrow.
We would like to sincerely thank David Cohen of Less Is Techno for making this possible.