Solens Arc and Cory Arcane, David Letellier's previous two albums as Kangding Ray, found the producer distributing his hyper-experimental beatless electronic excursions — comfortably situated amidst the oeuvre of the Raster-Noton imprint — in more traditional 4/4 techno rhythms. Those double-albums were exercises in form and structure; his latest, Hyper Opal Mantis, strives to actuate the viscera.
Letellier's first extended outing for the Stroboscopic Artefacts label, this three-disc collection of techno workouts strays deeper into the rhythmic territory that he hinted at on those earlier releases. Each of the three vinyl platters investigates what the label refers to as the "states of desire." The first slab is subtitled "HYPER" and revolves around sensual lust, the propulsive rhythms and lack of melodic content serving to focus one's urges; the more mellifluous "OPAL" references emotions and a striving to be loved; and the experimental "MANTIS," with its insect-like buzzing (more like a cicada than its namesake), appears to be a nod to fatal attraction. It's encouraging to see Letellier work entirely in a rhythmic vein without leaving his experimental tendencies behind.
Hyper Opal Mantis is an exploratory work defined by a unique concept that's ultimately a joy to experience. (Stroboscopic Artefacts)