Key, Pentimento

key_pentiIt has taken me a while to get around to writing about Pentimento by Key (Maiko Okimoto) because I’ve been trying to figure out whether I should. I have something of a love-hate relationship with the album. It’s been in my queue for a very long time, and when a track from it comes up, my reaction is always either “Hmm…interesting” or “What is this shit?” It’s an hour of very minimal electronic music, heavy on never-ending, repetitive pulses and straight-line percussion. Much of it feels like “I push this button…wait one minute….and push this button.” It tends to make me a little crazy because there are spots where I do fall into it. “Fractale” has that button-button-button mindset to it, but then I realize I’m grooving to it a little because, as minimal as it is, it has a rhythm that, since it’s largely unchanging, gets hypnotic. Problem is, even though I end up digging it a little, within another minute the repetitive nature of it has me thinking, “Can we please get on with it?” Maybe if all 12 tracks weren’t suffering from sameness and the aural jet-lag of constant repetition, it would work better. “Liber Abaci” manages to work in something resembling a conga rhythm. It’s interesting at first, but before too long…let’s move on. Individual tracks thrown into your mix might bring a cool kind of minimalist break in the flow. But an hour of Okimoto’s bare-bones electronics and occasional forays into noise become much too dull for me.

Available at Bandcamp.

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