Since 2011's OR LP, Kangding Ray has increasingly found himself on techno's fringes. Last year's The Pentaki Slopes EP, released on long-term home Raster-Noton, explored slow-burn, kick drum-led dynamics; a pair of releases for Lucy's Stroboscopic Artefacts went one step further. What's pleasing about David Lettelier's recent output is his willingness to make rhythmic, rather than timbral, innovation his primary focus.
Good news, then, that Letellier has returned to Stroboscopic Artefacts with the Tempered Inmid EP; less so that the results are somewhat mixed. The title track gives free reign to probably the least interesting Letellier trademark, namely vast metallic synth washes, submerged in reverb and heavily side-chained to the kick. Their constant presence here leeches momentum from the workmanlike percussion. Elsewhere, though, Letellier works with similar ingredients to more satisfying ends. "Dimen Andesso," featuring pensive synth noodling from Kuedo over a galloping beat, manages to find purpose in its ethereal waft.
"Nuis Octury" is the highlight, a 140 BPM stormer that quickly hits a plateau of intensity and stays there for the duration. It hovers in hyper-detailed stasis while tortured static-textures skate across its surface. Finally, the subdued "Exerb Altren" demotes percussion to a dubby background thud, giving pride of place to vaporous synth work faintly redolent of Oneohtrix Point Never.
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Tracklist: Kangding Ray - Tempered Inmid A1 Tempered Inmid
A2 Dimen Andesso
B1 Nuis Octury