Saturday, January 26, 2013

Artist of the Day: Kattoo

German electronic wizard Kattoo first caught my attention as one half of the incredibly brilliant and criminally ignored duo Beefcake, who's masterpiece, Drei, is just as good as it is hard to find in a physical format. Produced in the closing hours of the late 90's IDM circlejerk, Drei embodied much of the eclecticism and flamboyancy celebrated in that era: darting effortlessly between techno, glitch and classical with a keen eye on the celestial. Kattoo brought much of this into his solo work post-Beefcake, even bringing in more ambient elements; although these remained elements as a track was never allowed to stay still for long. While some of the magic was lost with the end of the duo, his work always managed to retain a remarkable amount of polish.

The recent unveiling of Motu - which I struggle to admit came as a bit of a surprise - is very welcome, then, but to see the tag of "dubstep" associated with the album was disheartening. In reality, this turned out not to be much of an issue. Kattoo plays around with the kind of industrial bass employed by the likes of Noisia in the foreground and often shifts the beat emphasis closer to what's conventionally considered as dubstep-esque, but he plays the rest incredibly safe. The space-y humm is more than present, as well as his tried-and-tested palette of percussion. It leaves an interesting taste, though I have to admit that maybe it might not quite be up to his previous work, but only just. Nevertheless, it's well worth checking out if only for the moments - if not tracks - of utter brilliance. I'll certainly keep this spinning for a few more days; it seems like a grower.

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