Artist : Spires (Phil Kiernan & Koichi)
Title : Spires EP
Label : PK Recordings
Release : Out Now
Genre : Techno
Spires is a new collaboration between Phil Kieran and newcomer Koichi. Their debut release is a two-track EP that sees the duo meeting halfway in their artistic influences and sound. It brings together Kieran’s love of analogue synth and outboard processing together with Koichi’s darker UK techno influence and use of field recordings. Spires are currently working on a series of releases and developing a live show.
Phil needs little introduction. A stalwart in the UKs techno scene since the beginning of the century, he made his name as resident at Shine in Belfast. Moulding a variety of genres together saw Kiernan rise through the ranks receiving multiple airtime on BBC Radio 1 for his releases, and among the charts and play lists of peers like Carl Cox, Slam and many others. In 2005 he formed the short lived band – Alloy Mental which had some success over the following 2 years.
Belfast based Koichi, who is currently working towards his PhD has been involved with dance music since the beginning of the century. Along side his collaboration with Phil, he has been working on a live solo show, and an artist album scheduled for vinyl release later in the year, featuring the vocal talents of UK hip hop impresario Mowgli.
Starting with a heavy drum arrangement, the scene is set very early on. cleverly placed FX and percussions whirl around in my headphones, and I can only imagine the claustrophobic appeal this track would have in a hot sweaty nightclub. Keeping the production minimal, but making the most of the sparse elements, 3 minutes goes by very quickly. The duo have a knack of drawing the most tension from seemingly very little, and I’m incredibly impressed by the level of attention to detail here. The groove is lazy; almost pedestrian, and get I’m very drawn to it. The most I hear of this kind of post minimal industrial techno, the more I’m taken back to those heady days of my youth at illegal raves in the local woods. Spectacular, and a little kooky in equal measures.
Flux for me feels the more complete track. Dub chords and that familiar heavy techno drum once again egg the listener on. Straddling genres, this is the type of techno that really inspires me in a club after a few sherbets. So much effort and time has been put in the programming of this track; its like three records playing at once, but not in an overly cluttered way. As with Spires, Kieran and Koichi’s personality shines through with a hefty dose of groove to get those hips shaking and hard as nails drums to keep everyone satisfied. I can well imagine the techno fraternity getting behind both these tracks.