There's a part in Blade Runner I particularly like, though it's only a passing moment. Harrison Ford's character is in a flying police car, eating ramen as he drifts through a rainy, futuristic vision of Los Angeles. All around are blinking lights, skyscrapers and enormous video advertisements, like Shibuya or Times Square on a staggering scale. The view is bleak but also stunning, and our protagonist takes it in from the warmth of the flying car, slurping his noodles as the rain lashes the windshield. I find the feeling of that scene in a lot of my favorite techno records—cold and futuristic, but also pretty and even soothing. PRISN, the latest EP from Vester Koza, is one such record.
All four tracks on PRISN are beautifully drab, a quality that defined Vester Koza's past releases as well, but that really hits a high note here. This is thanks in part to their inspired sound design, which takes priority over club utility. Take the opener, "GET_INTENT": the sauntering groove is nice, but its the sounds overhead that really hold your attention—a combination of (what sound like) morse code beeps and drips of water. "DECEIVED" and "OPT_iCAL_IN" wheeze like steam valves—the effect is at once warm and dreary. The former limps along at 96 BPM; the latter is the record's only bona fide club tune, with a deep house rhythm and chords glowing in the mist. It's tempting to call that one the record's best track, but "BIND_DREAM_SERVICE" steals the show. This is Vester Koza's boldest production yet—seven minutes of a broken, soporific groove, with amber keys echoing over dusty, scuttling drums.