Having quickly established himself as a well respected figure of the techno community, Boris Bunnik’s third album as Conforce marks a departure from what has been before, an intentional redirection according to the man himself – “I wanted to make something coherent but still have a variety that tells a story, a deep interstellar journey that doesn’t need bangers or club beats to be compelling”. Kinetic Image sees Bunnik in introspective form, inviting you – and only you – in for a glimpse at the core of Conforce. This is voyeuristic intimacy, simultaneously consenting and of being kept at arms length.
On listening, you picture Bunnik staged in the middle of a floor in a half finished office block, surrounded by his banks of hardware. It’s 3am and what light exists comes from the few pockets of strip lighting that appears to be functioning. Excess Mortality begins to play as you stand observing from a few feet away, the sound reverberating off undecorated pillars and walls, transforming partially furnished urban uniformity into an underground cavern, capturing the dance of minimal light and shadow playing off glistening damp organic walls.
This atmosphere runs through Kinetic Image with unfaltering consistency, each track inviting you up close while also diffusing into a grand canvas. While the narrative is clear, this does mean that there are less individual moments to showcase – for example, past moments such as Escapism’s tangents from murky waters into effortless Detroit motifs, or the twinkling Rare Education from debut Machine Conspiracy. However, as you are drawn in, you begin to grasp what Bunnik intended when speaking about variety within coherency – Spatiotemporal glides along in a futuristic shimmer, Semantic Field dials down into murky dub and foamy swells, and Underwater Settlers entwines melody and drone alike – existing and diverging within this singular vision.
By the time you reach Anti-adaptive State – as you will have listened from start to finish in one sitting – you are in sync with this vision, the closer touching on all the tones that run through Kinetic Image – of presence and space, of light and dark. What starts off as a chance to get under the skin of Conforce actually ends up working in reverse, as Kinetic Image gradually burrows away, before truly getting under yours instead.
Read our in depth interview with Conforce on ‘Kinetic Image’.