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Net Feature/ Kuniaki Takenaga: "Granphantasm Blue"

img  Tobias

You haven't heard of Kuniaki Takenaga yet? One of the better kept secrets of the Japanese Techno scene, Takenaga has been producing music for just over a decade now, fueled by his worship of The Prodigy and Ken Ishii, inspired by the cityscapes of his home-metropolis of Sapporo and driven by an urge to redefine the borders of hard and futuristic dancemusic. Most of the time, he has operated just underneath the general radar, but thanks to the advent of „Granphantasm Blue“, his actions may send back some massive echo waves soon.

For this four-track EP on proliferating Spanish label Antiritmo, Kuniaki Takenaga has used his extensive experience to deliver a statement of ferocious intensity. „Granphantasm Blue“ contains plenty of traces from his influences – the obsession with cyclic and circular grooves characteristic of Ishii, the edgey fusion of metallic percussions and sharp, sustained synthesizer chords patented by Johannes Heil – but amalgamates them into a uniquely drastic postulate somehwere between a cyberpunk version of Jeff Mills and apocalyptic club music for ship hangars.

This music does not take the time to introduce itself, nor does it ever sit back to rest and relax. First track „Cadash Zilva“ jumps right into the groove and stays put for the entire nine minutes of its duration. All channels seem to be firing on full potential all the time, as Takenaga's machines are drumming militaristically and as precise as the innards of an atmomic clock. Cowbells and continously filtered acid bleeps push the track to the verge of explosion, while the neonlight of ominous strings pierces the fabric with magnetic insistence.

„Phantasmagoria HOWL“ opens more openly and moody, but quickly falls under the gun of the inhumanly monstrous beat as well. With the harmonies taking a more prominent position in the work's development, Takenaga approximates Ambient from the angle of a raver lost in the mysteries of a four to the floor kickdrum.

Somehow, this music is frightening, but you can't turn your eyes and ears away from it. It helps that „Granphantasm Blue“ has received the same meticulous mastering treatment which turns all Antiritmo productions into polished diamonds. But even without it, this is a monolithical image carved in a moment of absolute clarity. You haven't heard of Kuniaki Takenaga yet? You will soon.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Kuniaki Takenaga
Homepage: Antirirmo Netlabel

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