Love for the home listeners
Organics play as big a part as the synthetic elements do on Kaiku, from Helsinki-born electronic artist Joakim "Kiki" Ijäs. Orchestral flourishes and live guitar tracks lap Kaiku's bed of house, techno and electro-rock rhythms for a diverse range of sound that spreads over the course of the whole record.
Ijäs is at his mysterious best when he and Padova, Italy-based experimentalists Pirica tease the deep-running pulse and punchy bass of "Immortal" with strings and slow-spreading synths. Pirica vocalist Camilla Reggiani contributes a meandering couple of verses on "Immortal" that are far better received than the nonrapping that Jake the Rapper offers on humdrum entry "Twins." Although the bottom-end of Kaiku is far more up-front, and its metallic edges offer a spooky surface in tracks "Mogadishu" and "Death Railway," Ijäs' home-listening-styled efforts here are reminiscent of labelmate Sascha Funke's, specifically those on the producer's Mango LP. This isn't a bad thing; Ijäs' precise, reluctantly building melodies in "Starslider" and "Good Voodoo" sound a lot like Funke's inviting album, and these tracks occupy Kaiku's most enjoyable moments. [3 out of 5 stars]