Kindohm - RISC Chip

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  • It's hard to think of a geekier scene than algorave. Its constituents generate corrupted beats, usually by live coding—in Kindohm's case, with a text editor and open-source software TidalCycles. IIts lineage starts in the UK (IDM is an obvious precursor), but Kindohm, AKA Mike Hodnick, is based in Minneapolis. The practice of live coding algorithms to make club-oriented music has been around for some time now—scene pioneers Slub have been doing it at least since 2000—but the process has sometimes seemed more important than the result, which too often veers towards chiptune and deconstructed gabba. Kindohm, on the other hand, has more in common with the post-Autechre complexity of Lee Gamble's UIQ label, who released algoraver Rennick Bell's Empty Lake EP in October. At its best, his first physical release, RISC Chip, sounds directly informed by the algorithmic artistry of Mark Fell. But whereas Fell maintains a tightly restricted sound palette and conceptual focus, Kindohm has wider parameters. "32-Bit Falcon" and "Practical Closures" lean towards dubstep in their sounds (less so in their arrangements), "Lake Effect" has the futurist synths of techno and the title track is a slurry of vocal cut-ups lifted from a goofy scene in Mission: Impossible. Like Fell, Hodnick's has a way of teasing inhuman funk out of his evolving patterns. Take "Mint," a track whose digital glitching only intensifies its psychedelic mesmerism, following a logic no music theory can account for. "Lake Effect" feels like an updated Close Encounters communiqué set over tumbling footwork kicks. Letting ".lean()"'s polyrhythms wash over you, you can just follow its multiple threads. Not every track has Hodnick's cybernetic magic. Whenever robot rigidity supersedes AI flexibility, the beat suffers. "RISC Chip" feels like a collage curiosity. The beats of "Bit Dust" are too straight and predictable, while "Viewport"'s are a touch too abstract. But as a refinement of live coding, RISC Chip succeeds in escaping its programmer's niche, launching Kindohm's work into the realm of music that exists for its own sake.
  • Tracklist
      01. 32-Bit Falcon 02. Mint 03. Lake Effect 04. RISC Chip 05. Bit Dust 06. Viewport 07. Practical Closures 08. .lean()