K-X-P – The History of Techno EP (3 stars)

Insouciant, dynamic dirges from Finnish cosmic rock demagogues

K-X-P – The History of Techno EP


Finnish people, as we have learned from studies and Aki Kaurismaki movies, are totally cracked, so it makes sense that that the country’s bands err on the side of bedlam. Here we have cosmic rock demagogues K-X-P obliging by flagrantly breaking the Trade Descriptions Act with their History Of Techno EP, which, does, to its credit contain techno, just not quite techno in all its many facets.

As they’ve shown on their previous two albums, K-X-P, fronted by provocateur Timo Kaukolampi, are musical shapeshifters who flit between genres with a showy insouciance, but generally remain on the right side of murky, dynamic, danceable motorik dirges. There remains a hint of that dirtpool swagger on ‘The History of Techno Parts 1 & 2’, the long, indulgent and, has to be said, pretty compelling opening track. It’s a 15-minute slinky stonker, which, in truth, wouldn’t be the most obscene or menacing bosh you would have ever heard – it might be slightly on the mild side for hard techno purists – but it does go on at a nice clip and lures you in with its relentlessness. You get the feeling that if K-X-P could have somehow magicked three hours of this same throbbing beat onto one side of a 12”, they would happily have done it.

The History Of Techno Parts 3 & 4’ kicks off with some motorik drums, backed by ominous buzzing drones and channels the band’s penchant for all things krautrock before evolving into a floaty Caribou-esque bit of delicate euphoria. The EP’s closer, ‘She Time Travels In Every Direction Whenever She Wants’ takes the BPM down a notch with its slowly pulsating and spacey strut, backed by some shimmering guitar noodles.

As history lessons go, the educational value of this EP is moot. But as a reminder of K-X-P’s talent for celestial beat-driven sorcery, it’s a pretty good one.

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