Photo by Michał Andrysiak.
Maiko Okimoto aka Lemna has had an interesting history. Through 2010-2012 she deployed her skills as a vocalist under the name Key MC, supporting releases by fringe D&B artists looking to push the bracket of what’s possible at a 160 BPM+ tempo, such as ENA and Naibu.
With this background and a new found interest in live-performed, bilious techno, it’s little wonder she has found her latest home on Berlin-based label Horo. Along with Hidden Hawaii and a handful of others, Horo are one of the few imprints to bridge the gap between D&B and the German capital’s best-loved export.
Titled ‘Urge Theory’, this release makes up Okimoto’s second contribution to the label following on from a collaborative release with Auxiliary’s Sam KDC under the name Ourea.
In many ways, this latest release is more of the same, but there’s no denying it’s meticulously crafted. One of the most impressive things about the EP is that Okimoto seems to use nothing more than an assortment of drums and percussive hits. The release is a viciously frenetic collection of phasing polyrhythms. ‘DLPFC’ stutters and tremors constantly, hyperactive snares twitching above churning low-end. This theme is only broken when we reach the closer, ‘Blot’, which centres around a groaning monotone bass note; like the bows of a ship caught in a storm and struggling to retain their structure.
Okimoto has found a good match with Horo, and vice-versa. The way in which she forms her tracks differentiates ‘Urge Theory’ from the endless churn of Berlin techno. Okimoto eschews traditional drops, for something for mature and complex in structure. It feels like you are constantly forced one step in front of where the track is headed - giving a feeling not dissimilar to deja vu.