Exit Entrance is the DFA debut for Kohei Matsunaga aka NHK yx Koyxen. Kohei has been making/releasing music since 1997 and has recorded for such iconic labels as Mille Plateaux, Important, Pan & Diagonal. His latest recordings explore intricate drum programming, lush melodies and sparkling arrangements. Touchstones include the legendary Clicks & Cuts compilations from the 1990's as well as Aphex Twin and Autechre. RA called his music "bombastic techno funk...unpredictable but rarely disappointing."
Exit Entrance is a collection of new songs that snap and flicker unlike anything Kohei has done in the past. There is a clarity and beauty to these tracks that bursts out of the speakers in a three dimensional way, matching the 3D glasses that the artist wears during all his live performances. The elegant arrangements and crisp drum breaks match the concise song titles – Kohei foregoes the typical impenetrable track names made up of numbers and shorthand, and opts for a more direct emotional sincerity through the sonic themes of the record. Not all the music here falls into the same exact formula.
As the album heads towards a close, after several tracks of harmonious beauty, we get "Outset (for Mika Vainio)," a somber hushed techno tune, dedicated to his late friend and musical collaborator, who unexpectedly passed away in 2017 as the record was being completed. What follows after this track is perhaps the real catharsis, as "Dented" ominously kicks off with acidic stabs and rolls into a tumultuous dirge of gritty techno. In this regard, Exit Entrance can play out like a life cycle, a mini opera of birth and beauty, of sorrow and mourning.