Fumiya Tanaka

Unknown Possibility, Vol. 2

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Most regard Ken Ishi as the king of Japanese techno. But if Ishi is often compared to Detroit icon Derrick May, then Fumiya Tanaka must be his country's Jeff Mills. Although number two by name, this release marks Tanaka's first album for techno institution Tresor, which means his international profile should increase significantly. And well it should. The opening track, "Drive #1 (1-2)" (all cuts here have the very techno "Drive" and a number for titles), slowly builds on a lone repeating conga line that shifts gears midway into a full-bore techno stormer. From there the pressure rarely lets up, with track after track of compressed looping techno that relies on rotary drums and cymbals for all of its content. Only "Drive #3 [Version 1]" slows the tempo into the minus realm of most DJs, giving an extra funk and swing to the loops, while "Drive #6" reduces into slight ambient washes. But the rest is the sort of full-frontal techno that Mills and company used to make before they regressed back into the typical Detroit pattern. But as anyone who has ever walked into a party where this 110 percent beatdown is being played knows, it can absolutely take your breath away.

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