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65/ Milo

(Erased Tapes; US: 12 May 2009; UK: 6 Apr 2009)

Intended as a teaser for Rival Consoles’s now-released IO album, this split with Kiasmos, who have formed in the shadow of work by Bloodgroup, is five tracks of intensified party-ready techno, though each side seems to be geared to a different side. Kiasmos’ half is the more open spaced of the two, not so much minimalist as structured. “65” is neo bleep ‘n’ bass that shows how far one can go with just a slight touch of syncopation, following a Morse code staccato yip bouncing like a marble in impossibly sturdy pursuit of gravity’s end down the stairs, up the hall, around the bend, and along the gutter. “Walled” is built for the deejays and hence a bit too long, but its single idea is a single dubbed effect, a lone digital sonic that sounds like a steel drum processed and scrambled into a blipvert.  The utopian promise of the island sound crumbles by its tale end, which is warped into a down-pitched state of utter dejection. In all, it’s about a two-second sound, but it keeps a five-minute song pretty vital.


If Kiasmos is white gloves territory, Rival Consoles isn’t afraid to leave a trail of electrodes around it. It’s not hard to believe that the project was only a short year ago made rhythmically abstract chiptune-flavored IDM. It still maintains its 8bit and analogue-heavy sound, which is not unlike a more layered and consummately produced take on Analord or Luke Vibert’s revisionist acid on Yoseph, but it’s also a vie to escape the headphones for the dancefloor. The three songs included here can all be found IO, and they’re the slightly better batch of songs. As the title “Func” suggests, the tracks struggle to mediate funk and function and have all manner of the cut-up cues that make for exciting booty shaking in the post Basement Jaxx/Todd Edwards world.

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Timothy Gabriele is a writer who studied English and Film at the University of Massachussetts at Amherst. He currently lives in the New Haven, CT region with his fmaily. His column, The Difference Engine, appears regularly at PopMatters. He can be found twittering @Wildcorrective and blogging at 555 Enterprises.


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