Digital, KiloWatts Music/Autonomous Music, 2010
Since my first forays into music reviewing, Kilowatts is an artist whom I’ve grown with. One of my first reviews for a now defunct website was of Kilowatts’ amazing “Problem/Solving” album, then followed by the absolutely essential “Routes”. Now I have his most recent release, “The Right Words”. This is a much changed and rounded sounded from a few years back, one that has grown from fairly straight up electronica to a minimal tech/house sound, and whilst I can see how minimal house can be of interest to some, it’s not quite to my taste. However, all is not lost, there’s some interesting stuff herein if you fancy a challenge.
Starting with “Deliriously”, this has a lot in common with previous releases and sounds quite similar to “Learn to Love Loneliness” from Routes. It has a gorgeous, summery lilt to it; sweet and soothing. “Thunderous Sun” is slightly odd. Lots of glitchy beats, which is pretty interesting, some occasional dub wobbles and then from out of nowhere some odd, jazzy sounding, organ sounds – the most obviously dance track on the EP I think. “Evolving Revolving Door” is very trippy – near enough perfect for that after-party soundtrack – with glitches, beats and rhythms in all the right places, and some acid-washed crazy electronica in between. “Earshot” is a very rhythmic track, one that I’m not too stuck on right now and which feels like it’s too clever for its own good, with very little melody. “Black Ink” returns back to a sound I’m more accustomed to from Kilowatts with lush synth lines, glitches and melodies; a subtle and beautiful end to the EP.
Kilowatts is definitely going into a sound that is something I’m not too knowledgeable on, but his base is still firmly routed in electronica whilst exploring something else entirely. James Watts is obviously not afraid to try something new, and each release I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing thus far has been different in many ways, and whilst “The Right Words” may not be the most immediate of his releases, he’s definitely a lot more interesting than most electronica artists right now, pushing further and doing more with his soundscapes.
Great after-party fare, something to get lost in with your headphones wrapped around your ears, or something for those who aren’t afraid of going a little more into dance music. Not quite essential, but it’s got something pretty special going on.
— Kate Turgoose