Dawn of the Final Hour



Lurien Zittertkopf

May 7, 2023

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A final radio set in a dystopian future, chronicling a DJ's mental breakdown as they frantically fly through genres

Let Kinotekis music fill the room and it’ll cause the surroundings catch fire within seconds. The NYC-based producer has been hybridising all sorts of electronic styles since their 2020 debut, footwork melting into hardcore breaks and IDM snaking its way around future garage and house, electronica whose club-ready sound pushes against its own experimental edges. 

In search of a heavier and more dramatic mood, Kinoteki’s latest album Dawn of the Final Hour, first conceptualised as a dystopian radio set before slowly shifting into more of a break-up album, small moments of change ready to be blown out of proportion in glamorous dance fashion until the music becomes impossible to ignore due to its sheer size. It’s harsher on the ears than most electronic albums are willing to be, but Dawn of the Final Hour’s extremities give it an incredible amount of space to fill, daunting in its brutal channeling of footwork jungle but deeply rewarding as Kinoteki runs their dense production through a variety of electronica conduits. The album is both a melting pot of Kinoteki’s many influences and an experiment in how far out their music can go while holding onto its dance roots, using sample generation through OpenAI Jukebox to create and manipulate samples in ways that aren’t entirely under Kinoteki’s control, Dawn of the Final Hour is rich in style while still focusing foremost on energetic and lively music. It’s in how the album roars with dark sub-bass and noisy drum breaks, how Kinoteki’s north star is obsessing over making the perfect dance music with a sharp leftfield touch to it all. Dawn of the Final Hour revels in how fast it can move and detailed it can be at the same time. 

Though Kinoteki favours lots of sidechaining and compression to push Dawn of the Final Hour’s noisiness and atmosphere, the album glides smoothly from track-to-track and uses its softer sections to lower the heat without losing the listener’s attention. Dawn of the Final Day immediately pushes anyone not prepared for Kinoteki’s all-out assault on the senses out of the way, its ear-piercing synth leads and distorted drum insanity a wild but vibrant introduction to what Kinoteki does best, the reward for following along with the artist on this wild wormhole of a journey being the back-to-back highlights Mastercard, Helium Dreams and In My Mind (Radio/War Dub). These track’s house-y four-to-the-floor beats and saturated pads coating the mix in warm hues and a playful spirit later tracks like 67.alps (You Don’t Understand) and Third Strike seek to inflame, darker moments that heighten the drama and keep the listener attentive to everything Kinoteki’s doing. 

The presence of these songs is simply undeniable; they command attention through the fundamentals of dance music but shock with how unorthodox Kinoteki can shape them, In My Mind (Radio/War Dub) a flip of the track from their 2022 release Human Noise with a slower tempo and pitched-down vocal samples like house in slow motion while The Whisper (And You, I Know, Make It: The Final Act) is a ten-minute final odyssey driven by a propulsive beat recontextualised by new synth lines and samples and drum breaks, the kind of song that could play out endlessly in a club and never become tiring, regardless of its runtime. 

Sporting over 50 minutes of fiery electronica, Dawn of the Final Hour is a dynamic listen that is worth the onslaught on the listener’s ears. Certainly more demanding than most dance records, Kinoteki works out their strongest musical muscles with fast-paced club music and luxurious atmospheric electronica. No other electronic album this year has been so dizzyingly charged and enchanting no matter how far out of bounds it travels.