Kangding Ray - Predawn Qualia

  • Experimental techno with a soft side.
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  • David Letellier's music sounds like it was made by someone who studied architecture. The precise forms of his increasingly techno-informed compositions are underpinned by sturdy rhythmic foundations with hyper-detailed exteriors. "What really interested me [in architecture] is that there was the very direct, technical way of acting on the reality," he told Red Bull Music Academy. "But there was also another layer which is a more philosophical or intellectual level." Letellier's output as Kangding Ray embodies an approach where function meets artistic ambition, but on Predawn Qualia the tension between those outlooks is less pronounced. Billed as a home for "organic, emotional club music," Letellier's debut contribution for ara, his new label, contains some beautiful moments. The title track's microtextures shift and shimmer, underpinned by a skipping earthy kick that gives way to misty ambient synths. "Stone Sober Brushstrokes" is driven by a lighter rhythmic thrust, weaving and interlocking with melodic reflections that dart across the surface before tightly bowed strings close the track. The EP's second half is less compelling. "Orcan Tears" bombs forward with a syncopated kick and electro bassline, slowly introducing predictable dub techno chords that morph into "Trade On Azul," the EP's beatless coda. The foundation of Letellier's work has always been solid. This take on "emotional club music" feels limited.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Predawn Qualia A2 Stone Sober Brushstrokes B1 Orcan Tears B2 Trade On Azul