- There's a passage on Bryan Kessler's "Hi, How Are You," from his Numbers debut 10,000 Suns, that shows the Cologne producer's greatest strength. The drums are so punchy—and so central to everything—that it's possible to enjoy "Hi, How Are You" on those sounds alone. The production is crisp like a new white shirt, with an arpeggio whose simply tailored sequence dazzles. But the track also exposes a major shortcoming, with a guitar-like synth melody that's stiff and plain. "Hi, How Are You" bangs, but it doesn't sing.
Another problem across 10,000 Suns is an excessive dryness. The blistered drums of "Power Flower," especially, could use a drink. As a set of bare club tools, much of the EP will do the job, but Kessler has worked around these deficiencies with more promising results. "New York, Baby," released by Get Physical in 2014, found some musicality in the slippery vocals and a few complementary tones. 2015's "Say Hey" was weirder and even better—the calloused snare rolls, rattling across the stereo field, and the cold, distressed synth notes showed an impressive mastery of dynamics.
10,000 Suns has its moments—like the plastic piano breakdowns in "Super Boo," or the merging of live and synthetic textures on "Power Flower"—but only the title track is a match for Kessler's best work. For its tumbling drum avalanche, it might remind you of Capricorn's "20 Hz." That track was so much fun because of the idiophonic jingle snuck in with Capricorn's percussive stampede, like a bow tied to a tank. "10,000 Suns" is a joy, but a transient one.
A1 Super Boo
A2 Hi, How Are You
B1 10,000 Suns
B2 Power Flower