CD, Mille Plateaux, 2010
“Bektop” is a minimal clicks’n’cuts/glitch record released on Mille Plateaux. I really like the type of sounds Kabutogani uses – the analog clicky percussive sounds, thick fuzz, and heavy, fathomlessly deep low end that will immediately bring to mind Alva Noto. However, despite having an (limited) array of neat sounds, Kabutogani fails to do anything memorable with them.
I understand that this record is going for a ‘minimal’ style (I’m not a fan of this sort of minimal, sorry), but it comes across as empty and lackluster. There are a number of tracks such as “The Green Dome” and “SIGINT” that feature some really excellent sound design and fragments of ideas, but they are not fleshed out in any capacity, and as a result, they end up sounding like little more than early drafts of an idea. Only rarely do the pieces come together to (loosely) form a coherent structure and a semblance of flow, allowing movement and direction to manifest (examples being “Clave”, “Seisen” and “Production Peripherals”). Even these tracks that almost sound like actual songs aren’t particularly memorable or captivating. I saw one of these tracks set to an abstract, glitchy video and the addition of visual stimulation made the experience significantly more enjoyable, though still weak in comparison to untold gigabytes of other well crafted, glitchy IDM.
This is the type of thing that masquerades under the guise of being slick & artsy, and the naysayers just “don’t get it”. The only thing to ‘get’ here is that “Bektop” is the lazy result of throwing a whole bunch of rough, directionless sketches that all use the exact same limited sound library onto a CD and thinking that because it’s annoying and hard to listen to that it is inherently ‘artistic’ and ‘deep’. This music is not challenging (your patience excepted), cerebrally stimulating, nor progressive/experimental. I hope next time Kabutogani will try making their ideas into actual songs.
— Dan Barrett [3.5/10]