Katsunori Sawa and Yuji Kondo keep things exceedingly dark on Superbad, their first full release as Steven Porter since 2011. The four-track EP for SNTS‘s eponymous label doesn’t stray far from the solo records these two Japanese artists have made in recent years, which is fine—few in techno can match their refined intensity.
There’s a heavy, elemental vibe to these four tracks, thanks largely to the duo’s muscular broken beats. But what makes Sawa and Kondo unique is the way they suffuse their music with layers of nerve-wracking ambient textures, as sharp as they are subtle. It’s a specialist’s sound, one that’s likely to wear down less adventurous listeners.