Contemporary sculpter and painter, Sol Lewitt once noted, “Conceptual art is made to engage the mind of the viewer rather than the eye or emotions.” Now if we’re permitted to translate this to modern music, K-the-I??? embodies the notion entirely. He transforms ideas into masterful sound art, defying orthodoxy by welding glitch-hop that entices you to move and crafting sub-heavy dub-n-bass that makes you think. Kiki Ceac (i.e. K-the-I???) takes the the prize on Oxidised Matrix V1 and V2 for revamping electro-dance with a sense of historic weight. You can hear the trickling of old school hip-hop spanning West Coast and East Coast tendencies towards something starkly intelligent and accessible.
If you’re lucky enough to have heard K-the-I???’s first instillation, Oxidised Matrix V1, mad props, you’re definitely in the know. If you haven’t snagged a download, I recommend you check out Mush Records for a purchase and while you’re on the page, snag Oxidised Matrix V2. Mush is known for putting out some of the best, but they’ve really topped themselves here. One of the most experimental, innovative and important producers to date, K-the-I??? sets forth a two disc journey across contemporary plains of uncharted dance-noise terrain.
All subjectivity aside, the LA based rapper/producer Ceac presents a purely sonic project on Oxidised Matrix V1, putting down the mic to focus on his forte, stylized and adroit production. Since his Thavius Beck produced sophomore hit, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, ” the past, present, and future of hip-hop is exactly what you’ll get,” from K-the-I???, as XLR8R accurately synthesized back in 2010. Having eased down from the rap grind back into beat sampling and mix masterdom, dexterous sound exudes from the first instillation’s finessed disconnects and meshed nuance to the heavier and harder dance floor allure of the second.
Oxidised Matrix V2 evolves in four tracks with more originality than most full-length albums do over eight to twelve lame attempts. In one song you can be transported from existentialism to corporal continuums, from hedonistic apotheosis to contrapuntal languor without warning. Nothing is sacred in Caec’s production. He moves you from point A only to leave you at point X or Y in the next beat, with no tease of a narrative bookended return to anything in-between. There’s nothing balletic or safe here, yet it all seems vaguely familiar as if plucked from unconscious recollections of vetted music libraries.
Spanning raver-club, industrial topiaries demolished by drum-and-bass, listening to Oxidised Matrix V2 leaves you wondering if this even came from the same person that created V1. Sounding, strangely advanced at moments and unsettlingly nostalgic at others, both play well together but the latter is definitely the more laconic and nimble of the split release, stuttering less on introversions and welling more disjoined fantasies and kvelling machinations.