Electronic stimulus hits its climax in, NRG 444, the second installment of i_o’s EP three-part EP series. The vocal loop that fervently cycles in “Another Level”—“I be on another level”—is an apt descriptor of i_o’s sonic approach on NRG 444. The industrial UK drive of the EP’s thumping techno pulse detes from the acid techno trappings of the inaugural release in the series, ACID 444.
The relentless hammering of NRG 444’s beats provide the sense that i_o’s latest output would be perfectly suited for rotation at an underground club defined by the close cluster of the crowds on the dancefloor. The intensity of the remainder of NRG 444’s inclusions, “Dancing 2020,” “Parental Advisory,” and “This Is Rave” is a kind from which listeners cannot retreat nor tear their ears.
Relentless in the energy of its return to earlier rave technics, NRG 444 arrives as an emblem of i_o’s inexhaustive dynamism. The final chapter in the dance saga will have a progressive character and is slated to arrive at the end of i_o’s tour.
Photo credit: Chris Koeppen