- Ukrainian producer Etapp Kyle frequented small labels like Indeks and Gynoid Audio before Ben Klock snapped him up for a Klockworks 12-inch in 2013. Well-produced for a relative newcomer, that record made a minor splash. More striking was how his techno seemed perfectly tailored for Ben Klock's universe—taut, efficient stuff, with sinuous melodies that glowed and flickered like gas lamps. Since Klockworks 10, he's been a fixture of techno bills around Europe, but he hasn't released a follow-up until now.
After trying out a brooding, bass-heavy sound on last year's Prologue sampler, Kyle's return to Klockworks also sees him returning to their sound. Of its four tracks, Klockworks 16's middle two feel like a pair. "Sakura" has a hint of trance (think Petar Dundov), and its lead melody dances on top of the drums like a synthetic Aurora Borealis. "Lyrae" reveals a more detail-oriented touch. It's a fine track on the surface, but the bassline's subtle harmonics and a stuttering hi-hat add an illusory tint.
The other two don't quite measure up. "Axiom" has some complex melodic interplay, but the buttery smooth texture lacks Kyle's personality. "Luna" moves into a decadent Tale Of Us-style sound, losing the careful economy that makes Kyle's music so attractive. His best tunes reinforce emotional melodies with severe techno arrangements; Klockworks 16 has two stellar examples of that alongside two placeholders.