Ainonow, real name Kyle Kroeck, is a Boston-based artist seeking to provide catharsis to his listeners. He aims to do this through razor-precise sound design at high tempos. He says he wants his music to allow listeners to embrace their dark sides–recognizing that darkness is part of being human–meanwhile providing a healthy and comforting space to channel those feelings. It’s not so often you hear this kind of emotional ambition from an artist working at the harder fringes of stateside Drum & Bass. And I’ll admit, I’m overall pretty cautious about dipping my toes into the vat of US bass music that includes Neuro, Mainline, and US-breaks. That stuff has just never been my bag. Above 160bpm, I’m just usually far more partial to the UK stuff: the grit and tangle of Jungle, the silkiness of old school Liquid.
But credit where credit is due, Ainonow is using some of the conventions of those US sub-genres to make something truly refined. This is incredibly intricately programmed music, with an impressive amount of patience and a refreshing lack of reliance on the standard build up+drop+breakdown/repeat structure. This is without doubt music for the dancefloor, but for all that the basslines may growl, they never stay in one place for long or quite repeat themselves. And those drums sound less like the lonely loopy staccato of typical D&B drum programming, and more as if someone spiked a marching band’s gatorade with adderall and convinced them the floor was lava. It’s refreshing to hear this level of thoughtful experimentation in this kind of packaging, especially from a producer so clearly concerned about how his music affects people emotionally. Big pad breakdowns, 90s nostalgia, ePiC dRoPs, and massive over-compression aren’t the only ways for an American bass music producer to coax strong feelings from people, and Ainonow is evidence of that.
Ainonow is current with two-tracker Exile. Grab it on bandcamp for free, or steam it on your outlet of choice.
Ainonow – “Exile” (sc)