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"A collaboration between Kouhei Matsunaga (who has worked with everyone from Sensational to Autechre and Asmus Tietchens) and the less prolific Toshio Munehiro, NHK’s ultra minimalist approach to techno may conjure memories of the late 90s/early 2000s glitch and microsound scenes, but their combination of erratic beats and digital expanses feels anything but dated, sounding entirely unique and fresh in 2015. I have always had a soft spot for that short lived era that was often full of derided laptop musicians and a style that was akin IDM taken to an even further point of abstraction. So when the glitch claps and broken AM radio house synth stabs of "Ch. 2" locked into a tight groove I was pretty thrilled. On "Ch. 6" the duo works with similar components but into a more microscopic click beat framework. Made up of a series of interlocking loops, it has the essential repetition of dance music while still building and evolving the whole time to be anything but monochromatic. Those two make for perhaps the most conventional rhythms and sounds that NHK put together here. Beats show up in other places as well, such as the wet gymnasium basketball thud of "Ch. 1" or the simple analog synth-like thump of "Ch. 3". An unconventional bit of rhythm underscores the skittering noises and simple melodies on "Ch. 5", resulting for an exceptionally strong combination. The beat oriented pieces may be the most memorable in a conventional music sense, but when the duo abandon that and go completely into experimental sounds it is no less fascinating. Shrill noises and weird open ambient moments in "Ch. 4" are offset by speaker decimating low end drones that are as easily felt as heard. On "Ch. 8" the two string together a series of electronic hums and the occasional bit of jarring digital interference noise with a backing of what could pass for a rhythm, but is made up of a bizarre collection of tiny sounds that could just as easily be extracted from field recordings as they could be the product of extreme digital signal modeling. One of the thing that makes Program succeed so well is Matsunaga and Munehiro’s diversity in composition. Minimalist robotic techno, ambient space and electro-acoustic compositional vibes all appear throughout, keeping the song to song progression diverse and varied, but while still sounding consistently and thematically linked to one another. The genre that is most befitting this album may not be as prominent anymore, but Program is as strong as any of those albums ever were."
Expert from brainwashed.com