It doesn’t take a mathematician to realise that R-Type are a very different band from the work of their compatriots, Stereolab. But even if they’re not, their aesthetic and technical approach are deeply similar, and their records have a feel of ambient, of being more abstracted and repetitive than Stereolab, and by extension, most electronic music. With the release of their third album, they’re taking a stand against the aesthetic and commercial hegemony of the big three labels – and maybe the world – by refusing to sign them.
On “K-Type”, R-Type let the listener’s ear in on an inner conversation with the band. They’re not interested in being conventional or monolithic about their sound, but R-Type are combining a sense of introspection with a sense of depth and tonal range. They’ve never been in the business of selling records, they’re not interested in the commercial record, and their music is wondrously personal. If you listen to the record through a narrow lens, it might not have the same impact as a gong, but it’s still the most unique, satisfying and personal album in R-Type’s discography.