2021 May 06     
2 Bit Thugs

The Japanese duo of DJ Kyoko and D Singh come to Monika Kruse's label

DJ Kyoko & D. Singh have been collaborating as Drunken Kong since 2010, a partnership that’s given rise to releases on Stil Vor Talent, Octopus, Natural Viva and Session Womb, alongside two artists albums for Christian Smith’s all-conquering Tronic. Now, the Japanese duo return to Monika Kruse’s Terminal M label with four tracks of main room techno full of punch and purpose.

The EP opens with the clean, pounding drums and rumbling low-pass bass of the title track, which builds with intertwining percussion, square wave risers, stabs of white noise and filtered hoover-esque sweeps; then, with a short folly of claps and a brief drop of the shoulder, we’re into a solid peak-time groove. A crisp snare, swirling growling synths and cutting cymbals are joined by a playful melody and epic strings that arrive just in time to draw us into the main break, where the pair strip things back to just those strings and a high-pass square wave, with the only remaining drums a simple electronic tom pattern – after which it's back into the fray, with various parts of the ensemble parried off each other as the track drives with some of that aforesaid purpose towards the outro. 

Detached is up next. Here we’re greeted with more clean, pounding drums, this time underpinned by a 303-style bass, leading the way into a track that's more of a roller, built around subtle melodies and a cleverly manipulated, siren-like synth that acts as the main hook. The second half of the release takes a noticeable dive into the deep with In All Of This, wherein sparse drums accompany a running two-note bassline with haunting vocals, ominous filtered hits and a slow oscillating synth used to create tension. Last but by no means least,  Trace ramps up the tempo, once again implementing a running bassline, haunting vocals, filtered synths and LFOs to add tension. 

With four well-conceived cuts of booming techno aimed squarely at the main room, this EP should strike a chord with both trance and 5echno jocks looking to add a bit of depth or darkness to their sets.

Words: Iain Taylor

Release date: 6 May



Review Score: 8




Tags: Drunken Kong, D Singh, DJ Kyoko, techno, Terminal M