CD, Audiotrauma, 2008
Drawing influences from various sources such as comic books, Japanese futurism, and science fiction novels, Ten Data Keshin”s second album for the French label Audiotrauma is a hybrid of electronic music genres that not only works well as a whole, but also gives off an air of originality that is invitingly accessible. That is not to say that what Ten Data Keshin produces ruptures any sort of boundaries, but the sound arrangements and tactical flow of “Neo Neon Generation” gives off an unmistakable vibe of purposeful structure that is both attractive and noteworthy.
With the opening track “Ailleurs”, a storm seems to be brewing off in the distance but approaches quickly. Thunderous clamor interjects amongst a simple 4-note synth pad while a stuttering vocal sample interlaces around random static and an attention-demanding clap. From this point on the album builds and sways consistently with tight, hip-hop beats and dirty analog loops, backed up expertly by controlled distortion and enticing Industrial-styled grooves.
Stronger moments are revealed in tracks like “Sharks Inc.”, a glitchy, hip-hop and rhythmic industrial hybrid driven by an infectious acoustic guitar melody. “Le Village Global” works from a darker, technoid industrial aesthetic with high tempos, heavy pattern layering, and delicious dark pads. “L’ange des Plaisirs Perdus”, which sits nicely as a centerpiece to the album, projects dreamy dark basslines marked by twinkling bleeps interwoven among sliding, yet tightly-bound shattered beats.
Although tempos are a bit exasperating at times, the programming always remains very focused and refined. Tracks like “B10nical Saz” with its fierce, airy drum’n’bass and frantic vocal samples, “G.B.I.”, which marches proudly among cracked beats and a nice rolling bass loop, and “Stakanamphetamin”, which rallies quickly around a noise “n glitch furrow with wrecked video game patterns pushing the aural psychosis into a tightly-bound pocket of clamor.
While distorted and glitch-ridden, “Neo Neon Generation” remains thoughtfully concentrated and demands the listener’s attention without seeming too forceful. There is a consistent current of melody flowing within each of these songs, although mostly veiled amongst the predominant rhythms, still manage to expose themselves at just the right moments within skillfully placed breakdowns and thoughtful outros.
Toping off the album is four excellent remixes, each staying true to their original counterparts, yet maintaining individuality and cohesiveness within the artists’ own styles. Sonic Area’s take on “L’ange des Desirs Perdus” produces a delectable dark IDM impression with calculated low bass drops amongst strong atmospheres and firm, broken beats. Zentra’s remix of “Chaotic Cycle” lends a decidedly wistful feel but still remains brooding and beautiful by utilizing chiming piano and strange violin movements against fractured beats, washes of shattering glass, and an alluring slow groove. Shizuka takes “Childexploitation” further in this same direction, sounding almost as an extension of the previous remix, while Ambassador 21 closes the CD with a true-to-form monster version of “Sharks Inc.” with rapid-fire beats and ferocious industrial adrenaline.
Prolific, chaotic, and even playful at times, “Neo Neon Generation” has all the elements of a solid and distinctive record that will ultimately get your blood pumping and your mind racing. With a frenzied, yet intriguing aural aesthetic to his sound, Ten Data Keshin is certainly worth exploration.
— Paul Nielsen