Album Review: Kristian Heikkila / ‘Kombinations’ (EPM)


Scheming in adamant, move-it-or-lose-it techno circles, Kombinations should actually only come in the singular: the classic of bass oscillation meets clanging percussion snips, coming from your average out-of-sight research development centre. Kristian Heikkila’s bunkered rollers force heads down until they’re being dunked, the Swede hammering home his point with “We Want Techno,” featuring one of those “History of House”/”The DJ” style monologues that gatecrashers the minimalism. Where frequencies are calculated to the nanosecond, Heikkila concurrently serves notice of a shift into a tech-house sound, where the impact and pull give the slightest rebalancing and where the chokehold isn’t quite as throttling.

The reasoning could well be that by the time the slithering “Filter” and restless “Svaj” have emerged from whatever skank-hole they’ve been lurking in, the more rounded out bumps of “02” are there to provide a marginal, lesser of two evils relief (“01” having created some sort of malicious twin inverse). Repeated listening reveals Heikkila is shape-shifting like a sneak, with the eerie electro and dub voltages running through “Stakker” and temporary creep-out on “Noises” making you both catch and hold your breath. See, more Kombinations than you first think, where it pays to stay part of a crowd whose only interaction will be through the sharing of sweat.
File under: Christian Lundqvist, Agoria, Motor City Drum Ensemble