Chroma & Coda is a concrete slab of techno. The clickety-clack of the beat and the pounding, incessantly strict and yet thoroughly relaxed rhythms are, of course, crucial to the music. A supremely chunky beat sets the music off on the right course, but over time the beats of Chroma & Coda begin to go on a special diet; they get thinner, minimal. As the beat wears down and checks out its new look in the musical mirror, it’s not exactly on the point of anorexia, but it has lost a lot of its original weight. Eventually, it fits into the smallest size.
Techno can only stand up straight and walk upright on the basis of their being a solid beat; it’s the music’s muscle, backbone and skeleton. Some of the beats, such as those on “Joan the Telepath”, sit high up on the treble throne. The bass is absent (presumed KIA), and this gives way to a lighter, more playful style. Glitched vocals are added and processed by the machine, giving a harder, sharper edge to this particular electronic knife. “Alfven” is a cooler track, more tightly controlled in its minimalist approach; the whole rhythmic interplay becomes incredibly infectious. This outbreak is only enhanced and multiplied by the next track “Colourism”. It is at this point that the record sheds its earlier skin and slithers off into some deep lambent techno. Confident beats hiss and grind against subterranean pipes that release smoky clouds of pressurized steam. The beat never stops driving forward; a real momentum builds up, and this is especially so as we get to the center of the record. Some are squelchy and some are straight down the middle, but they’re all connected to the wider, rhythmical web. Its lair is gloriously dark.
Some beats skitter around furiously, as if searching for suitable prey. Others are mechanical ruminations, machines that are stuck in their thoughts. It’s like they’re experiencing the ultimate Blue Screen of Death breakdown. The pounding, dark beat of “Sapir” has put on a padded jacket that gives it a healthy contour. The track then shape-shifts, and by this point you can only see the rolling synths by the dim light of a torch. The coda’s current of sharp electricity throbs and tries desperately to work its way out of the music. A bass bursts against the eardrum, and the high voltage shocks the speakers into submission. (James Catchpole)
Release date: late August/early September