Kotra: Reset

Reset serves up seventy minutes of scalpel-sharp electronic music from Ukraine-based Dmytro Fedorenko under the Kotra name. The Kvitnu head and one-time Nexsound co-producer (2003-07) likens his music to “ear needles” and the album's sixteen tracks are certainly invasive and uncompromising (though he's issued a dozen full-length albums and collaborations since establishing the Kotra name in 1998, Reset is his first solo release since 2004's Dissilient). Reset, which breaks up its longer pieces with five fragments, brutalizes the listener from the outset with “Rational Attack” and “Absent Response,” tracks whose machine-like precision and relentlessness exemplify the material's merciless tone. If there's a comparative point of reference for Kotra , it's Carsten Nicolai's Alva Noto whose material is also inhumanly cold yet rhythmically funky too. Kotra's “Vilna Struktura,” for example, merges high-pitched tonal cross-currents with pulsating throb in a way that suggests Alva Noto operating his gear in a particularly aggressive frame of mind. There's inarguably a sadomasochistic dimension to Kotra's music— the violent onslaught of grinding noise in “Solid Dissection” and “Fire Fractions” is so eardrum-piercing it's almost painful—but there's music to be heard in these eviscerations too, for those at least with dispositions strong enough to handle it.

September 2008