Kai: Particle EP

In a style that suggests kinship with Background Records as much as Süd Electronic, Japan-based Kai fuses old (classic techno and house) and new (micro-edits) on Particle's four future-groove tracks. Throughout the disc, voice fragments, staccato chords, and acidy bleeps weave incessantly over swinging hi-hat and bass foundations. The languidly loping opener “Mad” gathers steam slowly, building upon its Chicago house-styled pulse with a supple mix of voice grunts, chords, clicks, and swishes, before the confidently strutting acid-house of “One Day” takes over. On the B side, Kai drops voice micro-samples over insistently burbling boogie (“Switch”) and works “Metro” into a feverishly bumping lather of ultra-obsessive 303 bleeps and jacking hi-hats. Particle's Background Records-styled minimalism is impeccably crafted but may be a little too dry for ravers.

August 2006