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Christopher Kah of the prolific Amsterdam based HJCKD AM stable prepares his latest LP, something a little out of the ordinary based around live performance and maximalist sonic impact from a minimal set of tools.
With prior releases on CR2 records, Get Physical, Datapunk, Gigolo records and others his first full length was always going to be well received, but coming with such a strong concept and execution to the project is something that took time to get right.
‘Limited Resource’ at it’s best feels like an electronic note pad, a pad where Christopher Kah expresses his deep and darkest musical ideas, packed with texture and feeling in an incredibly organic way. Part of the concept was this openness to bare all for people, holding no secrets back.
‘’The gear I use is very minimum with maximum result, a drum computer, synthesizer and sampler combined with dj-ing. Instead of mixing only 2 tracks simultaneously, I customize the tracks the way it feels right at that moment. The possibilities are just endless when combining analog and digital equipment. I want to push the mix into another dimension, Closer to the public, and see how they react’’
Already receiving plaudits from industry brands like Roland and Elektron, following a series of videos he posts online, sharing how he uses and taking you inside his stripped back production process.
The album starts with ‘In’ – an aptly named introduction to the general tone, thick analogue sound paired with often transient musical ideas. In his own words “everything starts here, darkness falls, and gives way to the light, everything is not beautiful, but light is here. “ Fury in stark contrast comes in with no introduction as the resonate stabs begin to lay down the foundations of this tracks groove. Direct, Simple and without pretence the thick , gnarly synth lines meander through this track creating an impressive soundscape, Christopher’s percussive work in this is as sharply designed as the synth work with the hats simply slicing through the mix.
‘Real.Unreal’ finds a more sombre feel to Christopher’s production skills, whilst the elements that build up this drum work out still very much have the crisp metallic sound design of the prior tracks.“this track is a trip into the future” With This track giving a lesson that sometimes you have to follow your own path, when advice can be shouted from all around you. Delivering the same urgency and ability to lock you in without resorting to thunderous drums.
‘La Morsure’ leads us into the groove with the use of textural saturation in a warm yet inviting drone that twist and turns at the producers beckon call, the next full on dance floor track from the album shows the artist slip into 5th gear almost making time stand still where nothing matters but the groove.
‘Night Track’ sees Christopher change pace with this dark and dramatic piece. Based around the central sound with a heavy feeling of a step into the unknown. Acid vocals and intricate programming allow the producer space and time to grow and flourish this track taking the listener further into the rabbit hole.
‘Flush’ is a wonderful pressure track, using the arp to push the pressure on relentlessly whilst using his skill with percussive work to heighten those moments and squeeze every last ounce of energy out of it
‘The Escape’ experience sound pallet lies very heavily influences from the visual world, rushing the listening along with the analogue electricity gelling those elements together. An almost cinematic experience juxtaposed with slight but well placed musical elements that create a brooding pot of urgency.
‘Madness’ in his own words “Back in the 90’s, this is a melodic techno track, the dance floor spirit is always here. When I created this track, I felt like I was at the first rave of the 90’s.” Revolving around the counter play of 2 arp sequences, this feels like an argument or an issue the producer has wrestled with two counter points fiercely determined to speak its mind. A relentless Acid Techno weapon.
‘Chasm’ sees Christopher exercising his production muscle again, the feel created with clever play of different reverbs allows the producer to play and twist with your mind in some many very clever ways, it makes this track a rollercoaster ride for the senses almost a paradox between the sounds and the vibe of the track.
‘Ex’ closes out this 10 track long player the same way ‘In’ introduced it, a collage of tones and textures that I think in a clever way echo the experience the listener gets from the sounddesign work in the album, but here he allows the listen to sit back and take stock , clever stuff from start to finish – but is it the end or just another beginning?
Release Date: April 27th, 2018