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Inigo Kennedy – The Darkest Valentine review

Who better to soundtrack the final days of 2010 than Inigo Kennedy? The UK producer’s music has always been more complex and challenging than most of his contemporaries’ work, and on The Darkest Valentine, he retains his skewed, angular approach. Indeed, while this release on Belgian label Token sees him striving for – and succeeding in – attaining a more accessible end result, the underlying aesthetic is undeniably and 100 per cent Inigo Kennedy. “Obsidian” starts off with creepy, droning textures, ushering in a spiky, staccato rhythm and a filter which lends the track a conventional effectiveness. Despite this, “Obsidian” is unsettling and vaguely disturbing thanks to Kennedy using some child-like melodies  – it sounds like a techno version of The Exorcist.

The mood is just as eerie on “Quagmire”; Kennedy makes some nods to contemporary techniques – especially with the arcing bleep sequence that surges through the arrangement – but for the mot part, he’s happy to go his own way. Dramatic strings sweep in over a firing, militaristic rhythm, accompanied by jarring analogue riffs. By any stretch of the imagination, it’s not music that could be described as seductive, but if you’re looking for techno with an eerie, almost otherworldly feeling, then you’ve come to the right place.

Richard Brophy