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K-X-P: III (Part One)

Cinematic ambient-techno from the Finnish ‘anti-band’.

KXP continue to pursue dark, intense, enticingly twisty shapes; capitalising here on their considerable electronic know-how.

The pop-tinted electronica of 2013’s II (following their rockier, ‘dark disco’ debut in 2010) gives way to a heady concentration of space rock strains, ambient layers and propulsive techno beats. It streamlines everything they’ve touched on over the last few years into a filmic, kaleidoscopic experience. Evidence, if it were needed, of what progressive, profoundly atmospheric worlds can be generated under the techno umbrella. Psychic Hibernation grows from an ambient drone into a percussive, almost symphonic take on spacey Krautrock – all low resonating samples, tribal pulse and ethereal echoes. Space Precious Time builds on this with a powerful, uptempo interpretation of techno, bound in gothic post-punk sensibilities. This is all united by a prevailing mystical quality with a hypnotically beating heart, notably effective in the apocalyptic swell of Obsolete And Beyond, complete with compellingly eerie vocal cries. Imagine shamans, neon-lit nightscapes, Kraftwerk hitting an underground Helsinki rave – it makes for a woozily bewitching trip.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.