Kagami Smile - Four Selves

  • Challenging experimental club tracks full of left turns.
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  • The Illinois producer Kagami Smile has developed a particular sound within the realm of ghost tech—a name given to techno made by artists from the vaporwave sphere. He takes heavy kick drums and immerses them in sonic fog, using samples that sound like they've been blown apart. He then draws power from the volume fluctuations and textural contrasts that result. The style hit a high on last year's split LP with HKE, becoming more frantic and aggressive before crystallizing into the punishing sounds of the aptly named Anxiety for Dream Catalogue. Kagami Smile takes another step forward with Four Selves, an EP on a new Czech label called Gin&Platonic that represents his most dance floor-focused, but also most challenging, music yet. Four Selves features two shorter tracks bookended by two twisting tunes that each run for almost ten minutes. One of the longer tunes is "Last Self," a swampy track with beautiful melodies lurking behind the smokescreen. The shorter songs hint at IDM. The lopsided beat and counterrhythms of "Second Self" call back to Anxiety, while the distorted and haphazard drums of "Fourth Self" play hopscotch with the quantized grid. Though the herky-jerk can occasionally sound amateurish, the occasional wrongness of Kagami Smile's techno helps make it exciting. Same goes for the closer, "Third Self," where the first five minutes are a chaotic mess of crumpling metal. It suddenly reorients itself into a four-on-the-floor pattern, bulldozing through the psychedelic landscape. It's the most head-turning moment on any Kagami Smile record yet.
  • Tracklist
      01. Last Self 02. Second Self 03. Fourth Self 04. Third Self