Dirty K – Panorama Review

Genome 66.6 Mbp‘s crew always amazes us with their releases. Constantly willing to push things forward they’re setting a brand new standard for underground electronic music. And so does Dirty K, the young producer from Nanjing just released his latter project Panorama via the Shanghai-based label.

Ok so, what is Panorama?
Thinking about the dictionary definition of the term, which is the ‘unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer’, it makes a lot of sense for a musical language that merges Western sensibilities and delicate Eastern melodies, but this isn’t immediately obvious because perhaps there is more to it. When introducing ourselves to the self-titled first track, the varieties of brief motifs and sharp sound effects almost don’t overlap, resulting in a complexly clipped and thin structure with many voids in between the sub-bass. The second one is ‘Impression’ featuring LJC, and coincidence or not, the title itself reminds of the painting technique developed in the second half of the 19th century’s Europe, where the colors (read: layers) remain distinguishable while shifting from dreamy, sometimes swirling synths to classical piano movements. This lack of simultaneity to some extent fairly reproduces the effect of false boundaries and identities, and, as a consequence, the album’s experimental bent collects a broad range of influences without forgetting to highlight them along with an ever-changing flux.

Conjectures aside, the following tracks gain more thickness and don’t give up on making you dance. ‘Ego Fusion’, in collaboration with Parisian producer Chams, has most of the club-oriented kinetic power, which is delivered through bouncy patterns quoting alarm sirens in their timbre, combined with uptempo percussion and searing metallic noises. Guttural squawks and sword-like samples are strewn here and there like debris, until the lethal atmosphere is given a break on ‘East Sea’, where those aforementioned samples are replaced with few chirping birds and flickering computer pop-ups instead.

Compared to his 2017 debut Exsciccation , Dirty K gives away the paranoid gaze on behalf of a greater openness towards spontaneity, as well as warmer tones and Chinese traditional music. But what is not missing is an outstanding sound design that does not even by accident end up in the comfort zone.

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