CD, Hands Productions, 2004
With a stunning show at the 2004 Maschinenfest under their belts, Wai Pi Wai (a.k.a. Jérôme Soudan and Herman Klapholz) are not precisely average Hands Records material; for starters, I haven’t accidentally devastated any monitors while listening to it loud (which is pretty much what I’ve been doing for quite a while with this cd), and it isn’t particularly dark or hostile or heck, even slightly aggressive. But what it really is is some of the most edgy, intelligent and danceable experimental music you’ve heard recently, with the trademark high quality that one is used to from Hands Productions.
Synths on steroids, drums on O.D. amounts of speed and female robotic vocals (you know you love them…) provide a flawless combination for the hectic ride this album offers. The tunes in this record are cleverly programmed, produced and executed, with music that’s serious and complex enough to easily compare to material from older and more established experimental acts.
The trick with Wai Pi Wai is that it does all that while still retaining an edgy enough approach that allows it to be enjoyable by all, from the club-goer to the headphone recluse, and breaking down several genre limitations with its vast aural arsenal in the process. Specially the fact that it’s still among the most danceable experimental rhythmic acts without sticking to any single beat structure throughout the tracks (as opposed to the constant 4/4 stomping of other danceable acts), keeping the listener’s interest equally well in a couch back home as it does in a dance floor is probably among this album’s best qualities.
Experimental without being absurd, intelligent without being obscure, edgy without being hostile and rhythmic without being repetitive… What else can you ask?
— George Mouratidis