Barcelona’s Jordi “Maiki” Rivora first appeared on my radar with some idiosyncratic electronica and an intriguing selection of inventive covers of material from Robert Wyatt, (Luke Haines project) Baader Meinhof and Talk Talk. For the two ‘Rewolf’ EPs here, though, he has dispensed with eccentric versions of others’ songs and instead crafted six entirely instrumental tracks under his Maikiman identity.
The first EP is very much a beat-heavy affair. In fact between 120 and 130 beats heavy per minute if we’re being more specific. The first piece, ‘One’ (each is titled according to its sequence) begins as primitive and minimalist electronica, with the track bringing in new layers of instruments with each passing minute, including passages of sonic squiggles, drums and persistent drones. By the end of its ten minute length, I was left thinking of its resemblance to the French coldwave/post-disco act Colder. The second track is even more austere but mesmeric in its own detached, robotic way. Then, in a belated concession to humanity, “Three” brings in warm bass throbs and melodies suggesting early Kraftwerk.
Even though “Four” is the next piece to follow, it is clear to see why this is part of a different EP. For a start, there is the obvious fact that they were produced four years apart but they differ wildly in approach too. ‘Four’ is multi-textured and consists of macabre ambient movements, samples of child voices and insistent beats suggesting Boards Of Canada rather than any Teutonic influence. ‘Five’ is a more abstract offering populated by somewhat random effects but there’s an underlying, enigmatic tune and rhythm which holds the listener’s interest whilst “Six” takes us to the streets with samples from what appears to be a busy city at night time but the atmosphere is soon usurped by slabs of rather brash techno.
Compared to past releases it could be argued that Rovira has toned down his maverick tendencies a little and as a result some of these tracks don’t bear his usual trademark. However, on the second EP in particular, Rovira begins to make his mark again, with machine music tailor-made for lonely nights.
Colder, Boards Of Canada, Tommi Bass