- Speaking to Jordan Rothlein in 2015, Chris SSG called Wata Igarashi one of the best techno artists in Japan, good enough to "play an important role in strengthening" Tokyo's scene. It's easy to see why SSG would pin such high hopes on Igarashi. His records are vividly rendered cosmic dramas, in turns subtle and epic. He's capable of the sinister tension that is techno's most classic mode, but just as comfortable departing from that tradition, exploring more elusive moods and atmospheres. Sakala, his second EP this year from the Berlin label Midgar, shows both sides of his sound.
"Lost" and "The Reel" are fine cuts of spacey, Mills-ian techno, with sprawling depths of field and a feeling of ever-mounting intensity. But "Cascade" and "Fourteen" are the most interesting tracks here, in part because they're harder to pin down. "Fourteen" rides a driving, almost housey groove, offset by frenetic counter-rhythms in the high- and mid-range. On "Cascade," disparate elements float alongside each other in strange harmony: a shrill non-melody, a soothing but eerie pad and an abstract, semi-rhythmic sound that writhes through the track like an eel through a reef. "Lost" is the clear club weapon here, but these two show the "psychedelic sensibility," as Peter Van Hoesen once put it, that sets Igarashi apart.
A1 The Reel