The ara imprint is a cool new venture from David Leteiller (kangding ray). Rather than pressing up their records en-masse, ara intend to put great care into each individual product. Releases will come with manually-applied artwork - everything from paint to tape to ink will be used - and as such no two copies of an ara edition will be the same.
To get ara rolling we see Leteiller come through with a new kangding ray EP. The tracks that make up Predawn Qualia have been crafted with a passion and eye for detail that matches the cover artwork. These are techno tunes that marry precision-engineered kick drums with shapeshifting synth patterns and wistful atmospherics.
The beats of ‘Stone Sober Brushstrokes’ tunnel through the mix in a manner pitched somewhere between Rian Treanor and Paula Temple. ‘Orcan Tears’ teeters on a humming one-note synth bassline that nods to EBM while shying away from the aggression of that sound. Sombre synths undulate over ‘Predawn Qualia’, a track that is likely to cause some serious introspection on the dancefloor. Some resolution is found in the ambient closer ‘Trade On Azul’, though the breaking-dawn synth work here still has a note of hesitation to it.
The first release from the new ara label sets out the stall for what is a real labour of love on kangding ray’s part.