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Keiss - Access Denied (Pulse State)


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  • 3 weeks later...

Stas Kovalev (aka Keiss) has quietly been putting together a strong discography of albums for labels like Neonormalizm, Diffuse Reality, as well as Touched Music. Access Denied—his latest release on Pulse State, is a stunning addition to that growing catalog.

From the onset, there is an emphasis on Keiss’ rhythmic prowess on the opener “No Signal.” Clicks and cuts collide with arpeggiated synth lines as the track subtly evolves throughout. The mood then transitions a bit with “There’s No Time,” featuring somber melodic elements over a bed of static and tape hiss. “Run for the Hills” showcases a prominent glitchy electro beat which brings about memories of the classic Toytronic sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s—but perhaps with a more modern touch. Crushed beats and jittery, broken structures prevail on “Static Spring” which is reminiscent of Proem’s earlier works on n5MD and Merck Records. “Your own Solution” delves deeper into the ambient side of things—a beat-less number in which a gentle pulse can be felt but not heard. As the album progresses, tracks like “No Clouds” and “Syntax Error” utilize a slightly slower tempo, with absolutely huge drum sounds that shuffle about, each measure varying from the last. “There is no Asphalt” has some familiar elements to Urban Utopia, Keiss’ 2020 release on Touched Revolutions—then concludes with “Measure” a blissful track which brings the listener down softly yet also leaves them wanting more. 

On Access Denied, it is evident that Keiss is able to maintain a concise aesthetic with loads of attention to detail and many layers to keep each track compelling from start to finish. Not one sound feels overstated or out of place, putting this up there with some of the best pure IDM releases in the past few years. Highly recommended listening especially for fans of Gimmik, Drøn, Proem, and Quench.

Igloo says things.

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