Powerful, high-definition techno from Sigha and Kangding Ray.
After a string of live dates that included performances at Sonar, Dekmantel and Berghain, Neon Chambers, the duo of Sigha and Kangding Ray, release One, their first EP. Both are considered techno artists, but they tend to relate to the sound pretty differently. Sigha, or James Shaw, is an explorer of serious, wormhole-like grooves, although, as his 2017 album Metabolism showed, his purview also extends to lighter tones and the occasional broken beat. Kangding Ray, AKA David Letellier, has experimentation at the heart of his practice, shown on records for labels like Raster-Noton and Stroboscopic Artefacts, but he doesn't mind leaning into more traditional styles, something we got on his EP for Len Faki's Figure last month.
So how do they sound together? Well, to be simplistic about it, a lot like Kangding Ray. The five tracks on One all feature a high-def broken beat of some description. There are plenty of pretty melodies and atmospheres. And, although rooted in the club, everything has a difficult-to-define quality that's long been a hallmark of Letellier's music. "Apollo," "Cascade" and "What It Takes" each fully embody these qualities, and it's easy to imagine "Cascade" going down nicely in Neon Chambers' live sets. The vocal stabs on "Your Touch" are reminiscent of UK garage, while the fortifying breakbeat adds to the UK flavour. The mood is also harder to read than elsewhere on the record, making this one the pick for me. "Helles" also has something of the UK about it, with a vocal stab and bassline that nod towards garage and bass music, although it doesn't stick in the memory in quite the same way.
B1 What It Takes
B2 Your Touch