Vatican Shadow – “Death Is Unity With God” – [Modern Love]

Kai Sync   2/2/2016   A Library, CD


Vatican Shadow’s (Dominick Fernow) post-industrial minimal techno/ambient 3 CD set with title themes related to religious fundamentalism in USA and abroad. Destroyed and scorched but danceable drum machine patterns, dystopian synth loops, chiming percussions, harrowing chords, blurred melody lines repeating like a preacher. Some soundscapes are even homage to AFX and Autechre. The repeating themes are challenging but resolve at some point to a new sonic dimension if you are patient.

Walls – “Urals” – [Kompakt Schallplatten]

Kai Sync   1/20/2016   A Library, CD


Sam Willis and Alessia Natalizia’s third and last album as Walls; alt-techno music bouncing between aggressive beats with delicate guitar lines mixed in and more ambient/cosmic synthesizer soundscapes, even some electro Moroder disco and Tangerine Dream elements as contributions. It also has traces of EBM (Electronic Body Music.) Some of the material reminds me of James Holden’s recent escapades. This short album took four years to make and they had plenty of time to figure out what each track consisted of.

Dolls, The – “S/T” – [Huume Recordings]

Kai Sync   1/12/2016   A Library, CD



The Dolls is a 2005 collaboration between Finnish producer Vladislav Delay (Sasu Ripatti), Scottish composer Craig Armstrong and German electronic vocalist Antye Greye. Craig Armstrong’s sublime and sometimes heavily processed minimal lounge jazz piano is merged into subtle, still glitchy beats, electronic textures and sounds. Humanity is provided by Antye Greye’s hushed chanteuse vocals and experimental singing. Caution, this album requires listening, it’s stark but also complex in nuances.

Atom TM – “Riding The Void” – [Raster-Noton]

Kai Sync   12/16/2015   12-inch, A Library

This 2015 EP has remixes of Atom (Uwe Schmidt’s) Riding The Void from the 2013 HD album including the original. These tracks are post-modern Kraftwerk techno dance material, very much demonstrating the ‘intellectually dancing alone in emptiness’ techno feeling. The original is wicked, especially with the bass treatment.

The various remixes are of a mixed bag, very minimal with little movement. The ‘Nought Remix’ takes the track into minimalist house-funk; the ‘Scuba’ remix keeps the techno flavor with even more minimal soundscapes and the ‘Tool’ remix has a more dirty lo-fi sound.

Stott, Andy – “Faith In Strangers” – [Modern Love]

Kai Sync   11/1/2015   12-inch, A Library

Andy Stott is a Manchester based producer that shifts between various electronic styles.This release continues on his development of spooky ambient and dirty-aggressive drum machine and synth beats and soundscapes accompanied by Alison Skidmore’s inner-voice vocals (his piano teacher) The album starts soft but energy is added along the way up to lurid synths and massive bass penetrations, even electronic bass on the D side. The songs zig and zag between abstract invitation and?? grinding aggression, lots of lo-fidelity and sometimes casual music noise. Kicks and snares bubble up between noise scenarios. The whole album is a buildup reminding of a deliberate mix build-up where each songs contributes to the next – expect more energy tracks along the album progression with unexpected gear-shift-downs along the way.

This is electronic music that wants to be distinctive.

Slackk – “Backwards Light” – [R&S]

Kai Sync   10/21/2015   12-inch, A Library

Slackk (producer Paul Lynch’s) debut album on R&S Records, instrumental Grime with Asian-flavored melodic lines. Production style pays homage to AFX concerning sound and synth usage. The EP has a strong cinematic feel close to being a homage to a Japanese garden.


The styles range from eastern influenced spiraling bell synths and punchy drums (Bells) to cinematic paintings (Sleeper Carriage) trying to push forward so called sino-grime, with lots of Eastern instrumentation arrangements. The melodic value is highlighted. Posrednik is the most energetic track with irregular rhythms, reversed percussion and acid-flavored sound treats. Backwards Light has more relaxed sino-loops with square waves and off-track percussion. Monument has a dramatic synth beginning and then paying homage to R&S London sound.?? This release is pushing the boundaries of Grime.


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