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The Narcissist

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Album Review

The Narcissist may not be the kick in the pants or the forward move that techno has been needing for years, but an inspired set of machine soul from one of Detroit's valued veterans should always be a welcomed thing. Kenny Larkin has been away from track-making for quite some time — one unusual vicissitude keeping him has been his career as a standup comedian (rather than, say, producer's block or a packed schedule of lucrative DJ gigs across the globe). His return for Peacefrog is mostly low-key, especially when compared to his pair of mid-'90s albums. That's not to say that it's the least bit out of character. Most of the tracks lend themselves to a solitary freeway cruise a lot more than a packed dancefloor, put together with a keen sense of detail that often seems to value open spaces as much as effective drum patterns. (This will probably be at the expense of some listeners who found more to gnaw on in his hard-charging 4/4 workouts of yesteryear.) Through "Mono e Mono"'s coarse breakbeats, "A Part of Me"'s irregular percolations, "My Reflection"'s jazzy stutter-steps, and "Fortune Teller"'s graceful pulses, Larkin cunningly sculpts and maintains a particular mood without ever stopping the flow of ideas. The best is saved for last: like Carl Craig's "A Wonderful Life," "In the Meantime" stalks pensively and swirls around with delicately pattering percussion and lulling chords, fading to end as if it could come back at any moment — in your subconscious, perhaps? This track alone justifies the producer's extended period of inactivity and needs to be licensed to a soundtrack for a psychological thriller as soon as possible. The fact that Larkin can go away for so long and come up with one single track that decimates certain active producers' collective works is a testament to his enduring talent.


Born: Detroit, MI

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

Third Wave techno artist Kenny Larkin is a member of a new school of Detroit-based musicians taking the city's famous brand of hard-edged musical futurism into new and innovative areas. Although he missed out on the style's formative years in the mid- to late '80s due to a stint in the military, Larkin, a Detroit native, was brought up to speed upon his return by the likes of Juan Atkins and Derrick May, the latter of whose weekly radio shows inspired Larkin to pursue music production. Heavily rooted...
Full bio
The Narcissist, Kenny Larkin
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Dance, Techno
  • Released: 31 May 2004

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