Kelpe “Valerian”

Kelpe‘s hard to place. A natural son and heir to Generation Warp and the fathers of Krautrock, he’s much like scene-savants Prefuse 73 and Dimlite: enormously respected, yet a stalwart of the fringes. His reputation weaves over a decade, won variously across the more amorphous side of the soundworld (oddball ambient, hardware experiments and sample-heavy beat-craft) but recently, it seems he’s firming things up some.

Kelpe returns to puff up his still-young Drut imprint with a second full-length: The Curved Line. It’s a record transfixed on tonality and texture: Moogs, Korgs and pocket pianos are all in heavy supply here. The mood is forward, approaching more urgent, dancefloor-ready club grub. Our pick of the bunch is “Valerian”, a track that’s all sun-swollen chords, droning synths and quietly frantic percussion. It’s bigger and bolder, but all said and done – it’s definitive Kelpe.

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