Kiki: Run With Me
Bpitch Control

“Run with me to the dance floor,” that is, as these twelve tracks are primarily about grooves, with compositional development and memorable themes a distant second. Finland native and transplanted Berliner Kiki spent the last decade DJing in Helsinki and Berlin (Tresor, WMF) and issuing five EPs. Soaking up Detroit (by way of Berlin) sounds along the way, his Run With Me debut is a well-intentioned but uneven affair.

“The End Of The World” opens the set audaciously with pounding electro-disco beats, grinding guitar raunch, and growling Goth vocals; the hoary singing (slightly reminiscent of Peter Murphy) isn't terribly appealing but the energized buzz of the guitars ultimately makes the song hard to resist. The closer, “Luv Sikk Again,” is strong, too, even if its Yanni-like strings flirt with banality; still, there are compositional twists and turns plus the orchestral elements (tympani and harp) transform the song into something more than just a tech-house groove. Perhaps the best piece is the dramatic “The Calling” which begins with (simulated) trumpet calls joined by a spindly plucking motif. Credible too are the Casio-bleeping “So Easy To Forget,” “Classix Nouveaux” (lush, melancholy waves draped over rubbery rhythms), and “Turn The Lights Down,” its title repeatedly intoned alongside piano plunks and throbbing techno. Less strong, however, are tracks that rely excessively on grooves (“Run With Me,” “Intimacy,” “Drawing Circles”)—an unfortunate scenario when they otherwise sound promising. “On The 104th Day,” for instance, memorably pairs harpsichord-flavoured synths with an old-style drum groove but, once established, the song hardly develops. Without question, Kiki shows a deft hand at fashioning deep, dense synth-techno but, melodically, Run With Me occasionally falters, making it an album best heard in the club.

December 2004