After we're lured by the familiar sounds of warm, broken-beat house, it doesn't take long for Herva's mask to slip. By track three things have changed gear. "Seat Behind Mirrors" is a lot more glitchy and technoid, with obvious nods to Rephlex, Warp and Planet Mu circa IDM's heyday. But they're only reference points, something for us to hold onto as Herva does his own thing with the sounds. At the end of the track, futuristic tribal transmissions emerge from the staccato drums before dissipating into a digital cloud. It's our first glimpse at the darker side of Herva that colours Kila.
Herva's mashups have picked up more of a bite. Take the title track: "Kila" is hip-hop with caustic spit and a vocal sample that's pure evil. The acridity has eaten all the way through, corroding the drum hits and tape samples so that they rattle and crackle. Tracks like "Kila" are decidedly on the offensive, punching with unusual force for someone used to turning in brighter, lighter cut-ups like "Video Volume." It's nice to hear Herva get mean.
There are both lovely and antagonistic emotions coursing through Kila. When the two poles rub up against each other, as they do on "Disk Atk," things get especially interesting. Herva isn't one to compromise, and that makes these opposing forces equally powerful. It can come off as too much of a struggle at times—it's a clash neither side can win, which is a blessing and a curse. Herva has made a difficult album fathoms away from the easy-listening of Meanwhile, but that's one of it's greatest assets. Sit with Kila long enough and it'll bowl you over with its tough charm.