Review: Khotin - "Baikal Acid" 12"

Khotin - Baikal Acid
(1080p 2016)

Adorned with a silicone sonic pallet and Clip Art-core visuals that eerily resemble the cover art of Dean Blunt's The Redeemer, Khotin's Baikal Acid is a hypnotically amorphous slab of greyscale house that will keep your noggin bopping at 120 BPM while hammering out your last research paper paragraph to the light of a desklamp. Buffing out any of the lo-fi abrasion that marked his ultra-dreamy back catalogue, the Canadian producer pipes airy synths into artificially-lit, sterile soundscapes; his new effort feels as pure as bottled water, a McDouble fresh off the assembly line or warm paper ejected from the copy machine - it's as if he takes an evening's post-thunderstorm chill and converts it into processed, digitized sound. Post-consumer transubstantiation. 

A-Side "Recycle" (followed by an ambient "Drift Mix" of the same cut) is the record's strongest showing, orbiting subtle puffs of spacey sound-debris about its axis - a creamy, catchy melody and a tumultuous bassline that dribbles over hats and flurries of claps. The title track pairs a more sinister, yet minimal, arrangement with a rhythm section that wraps the listener in 16th-note chain mail. Though it's tough not to groove to Baikal Acid, it's a record that seems primed for doing so in solitude - the synth arrangements that accompany Khotin's recent work are as calculated and somber as Gregorian chants. But it's that very ascetic aesthetic that makes them so charming and irresistible.