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Artist
Kenny Larkin
ReleaseProduct
Art Of Dance Reissue Bundle
Label
Art Of Dance
Catalogue Number
AODBDL
Release Date
May 27, 2022

Bundles

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  • Black vinyl:

    $99.99
    • Azimuth (Expanded Edition) Vinyl, 2×LP + 10” Black vinyl

    • Metaphor (Expanded Edition) Vinyl, 3×LP Black vinyl

    • Keys, Strings, Tambourines (Expanded Edition) Vinyl, 3×LP Black vinyl

    • + WAV (24-bit)
    • + WAV / FLAC

    Available: May 27, 2022

Azimuth (Expanded Edition)

Kenny Larkin’s debut album Azimuth was recognised as an essential Detroit techno LP pretty much as soon as Warp Records first released it back in 1994. Maintaining the momentum which had driven Larkin’s preceding EP drops for labels such as Transmat and Plus 8, Azimuth combines high-octane dancefloor energy with space-age synth textures in order to create a lively, bracing record. Art Of Dance’s new edition of Azimuth spreads the music across three vinyl for the LP pressing (two 12”s and an additional 10”).

There are some seminal dancefloor moments to be found on Azimuth. The stargazing snap of ‘Harmonics’ and ‘Wires’, ‘ESP’s hissing rhythm workout and the post-Kraftwerk acid malfunction ‘Doppler’ are about as good as it gets when it comes to golden-age Midwestern club music. These are the sort of roof-raising tools that no DJ bag should be without.

Larkin also laces some more contemplative joints in-between the bangers. The ominous sci-fi synthscape ‘Hello’ is a fine way to begin the record, setting the scene perfectly for what is about to follow. In the middle of the album Larkin brings the bpm down to a mid-tempo strut for the wonderfully wistful ‘Tedra’.

Kenny Larkin’s 1994 debut LP Azimuth receives a long-awaited reissue via the producer’s own Art Of Dance imprint.

Metaphor (Expanded Edition)

Alongside Jeff Mills and Carl Craig -- the other two rulers of Detroit techno’s vital second wave -- Kenny Larkin’s realms of influence spread far and run deep; the immortal 4/4 forever changed by his impact, the soundtracks of clubs across the States, the UK and countless other European hubs will always owe him a debt. Larkin has always been on a far superior level of techno nobility, and it’s there to see on the cover of his groundbreaking second LP, 1995’s Metaphor. Unlike his royal peers, Larkin has the steely-eyed smoulder of a popstar; sly, cheeky and inviting.

It’s a perfect visual to accompany the music of Metaphor, starting with ‘Intro’. Kraftwerkian phased snares propel themselves along a mounting set of classic house keys, as alien synths wryly observe from above — a masterful ploy to conceal the surprising playfulness heard in the melee of handclaps and twinkling bells on ‘Nocturnal’. The motor-city drum machines we’ve come to recognise as iconic clang and whirr well into the dual parts of ‘Catatonic’; its first iteration heavy on the hardcore sound, the second a blissfully ambient meditation, and both possessing Larkin’s unique knack for instantly memorable grooves and extraordinary sonic flourishes.

Available on coloured triple vinyl exclusively from Bleep, this long-overdue reissue of Larkin’s Detroit techno classic is still peerless over 25 years later.

Keys, Strings, Tambourines (Expanded Edition)

Kenny Larkin is a name synonymous with Detroit techno. Breaking through in the scene’s second wave in the 90s, he would soon become one of its most important producers, whose sonic profile would grace the decks of DJ booths worldwide. Keys, Strings, Tambourines, his fourth and most mature album, is next in line for his discography reissues on his very own Art Of Dance in 2022. The album shows the evolution of an artist who was already making classics since his very first 12” in 1990.

Throughout, Larkin updates the techno framework with jazz and funk influence and off kilter rhythms, veering into the experimental world just far enough to bring back newfound combinations of sounds for the floor. The titular tambourines oscillate from ear to ear on ‘Androgenous’, a larger than life opener that glues stumbling synths together with a four to the floor beat, introducing the album’s interplay between organic and electronic instruments. Dusk shades of purple and blue colour ‘Wake Me’, where what sounds like a mutated saxophone could easily double as an electric guitar riff, but finds its true calling as a sharp synth lead. Perhaps the centrepiece of the album (now reshuffled into an anthemic closer), ‘You Are...Light’ is joined by its shadow twin ‘You Are...Dark’, both preaching their joint evocations of soul rejuvenation with epiphanic delivery.

Another motor city machine-funk milestone from Kenny Larkin, one of the greats of Detroit techno.

Remastered from DAT tapes and original sources by Curve Pusher
Designed by Atelier Superplus

Kenny Larkin

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