Published Aug 31, 2018Kohei Matsunaga's sophomore release for the DFA imprint is both a reimagining of and an extrapolation upon his 2017 masterpiece Exit Entrance. The producer, who has unleashed a barrage of experimental techno salvos for labels as diverse as Pan, Mille Plateaux and Diagonal, was asked to remix some of the tracks from Exit Entrance; instead, he re-created a bunch of the tunes from scratch. The original audio stems were long lost.
The temporal recall of Reflexes elicits a warmth in the music that must have been spawned by fond memories, as the tones seek to reflect the diffused light of dawn. Calling to mind legendary Warp Records duos such as Plaid and Autechre, Matsunaga's music is bright and bubbly, yet also incredibly complex. Multiple layers of melody and rhythm shuffle in and out of focus; intricate breakbeats are dispersed in labyrinthine patterns that are both pleasant and dumbfounding.
Newer tracks, such as "With You" and "Pio," are less frenetic and more surefooted than some of the remixed material. This introspection offers Matsunaga the chance to sprinkle his signature weirdness gingerly, without sacrificing his identity.
Reflexes is another step forward for this rising star of outsider electronic music. Its general appeal is sure to draw more exposure for Matsunaga; casual observers, navel gazers, chill out room mavens and dance floor adventurers will all be pleased with this stunning record. (DFA)