Orchestrating subtly hallucinogenic techno odysseys like its nbd.
Orchestrating subtly hallucinogenic techno odysseys like it's nbd. courtesy of Kayla Waldorf

Aos, "Violent Light" (secondnature)

The Largest Gathering of Fans of the Macabre! Crypticon | May 3-5 | DoubleTree Hotel Seattle Airport

Over the last five years or so, Seattle's techno scene has burgeoned, with several great producers and DJs flourishing both onstage and in the recording studio: Raica, Archivist, IVVY, Cavernous, Simic, Qoqo Roboqs, P L L, død, Fugal (when he's not abroad). Now it's time once again to focus on Aos (aka Kayla Waldorf), who's playing the release party for her new EP, Violent Light (released on limited-edition 12-inch vinyl and in digital form). Its three tracks (plus a remix by Fugal) reveal Waldorf's refinement of her music's steely poise, savvy dynamics, and acute ear for interesting textures within a minimal-techno context.

"Violent Light" represents the apotheosis of Aos' instinct for creating driving rhythms accompanied by timbres that trick you into believing you've become lit up with a stadium's worth of klieg lights. Anyone who still thinks minimal techno equals dry, 4/4 monotony needs to check the subtly hallucinogenic odysseys Aos orchestrates here. "Violent Light" gradually ascends to a quasi-rave-anthem revelation, its tonalities and oscillations reminding me of Underworld's "Rez"—the gold standard of muted, acidic, '90s-era hedonism. But "Violent Light" is more overtly a surefire 4 am floor-filler. Waldorf hysteria ensues.

You can purchase/stream Violent Light here, although the vinyl already has sold out.

Aos performs tonight at Kremwerk with DJ Bricks and P. Huckleberry.