Kristian Heikkilä Kominations

Kristian HeikkiläKominations
Growing up listening to techno and house, Swedish producer Kristian Heikkilä is known more as a hip-hop producer than for his contributions to dance music. After a stint with Christian Lundqvist (as duo Kristian & Christian), on Kominations, Heikkilä returns to his first love: techno. The album begins with "Ambiencum," a heavily reverb-laden drone with fragments of speech and beats that gradually pulls together, creating a sensation of dramatic tension from the get-go that lulls you into a false sense of security, as "01" (one of two tracks co-produced with Lundqvist) turns out to be more of a straightforward techno banger. "We Want Techno" is a standout, featuring the campy vocals of rapper Infy delivering a techno manifesto that appears to pay homage to Richie Hawtin. While the album is satisfying, in parts, it gets a bit tiresome after a while, especially with the forced-sounding builds midway through "Khordium." Lacking variation and, at the same time, unable to lock into that repetitive groove, Kominations, despite its moments, comes across as unremarkable, occasionally cheesy and less than the sum of its parts. (EPM)