Miskate: Zuni

Calling Miskate (Philadelphia-based Kate Iwanowicz) a 'minimal techno artist' isn't inaccurate but it's not entirely correct either. Much like her recent Microcosm outing lil'tugtug, her Foundsound 12-inch debut Zuni teems with so much eccentric detail and entrancing activity it thoroughly transcends the 'minimal techno' label; the third term, however, invites no such quarrel for she brings an indisputable, individuating artistry to her music. The opener “Wizards Are Lucky” rolls out unassumingly enough with an anchoring midtempo microhouse sway until Miskate slathers it with an engrossing field of voice snippets, percussion detail, and a funky bass undertow. Prodded by the insistent tock of a woodblock and a slithering bass line, the reptilian groove in “Pick Up Your Life” progressively gathers steam as telephone rings battle croaking voice murmurs and granular smears for attention. Miskate trails the lurching swirls of “Zuni Lullaby” with echoing traces of a woman's voice, while remixer Jeff Milligan (aka Algorithm) transforms it into billowing vistas of soothing chill and soft pulses. Boosted by the infectious bass kick of its distorted voice fragment, Someone Else (Sean O'Neal aka Flowchart) re-animates his “Pick Up Your Life” remix with a faster-paced, slapback attack.

August 2005