LP version. Kouhei Matsunaga's second album as NHK yx Koyxen - his label debut for Diagonal - is a pixel-pill gobbling, see-sawing wave of techno emotions presenting the Japanese artist at his most rugged and damaged. After recent LPs from Not Waving (DIAG 025CD/LP, 2016), Elon Katz (DIAG 029, 2016) and Russel Haswell (DIAG 024CD/LP, 2015), Diagonal now excel in drawing out powerful album statements from some of the most distinctive musicians in contemporary electronic music. As bonkers as the narwhal-cavorting-with-a-rhino artwork, Doom Steppy Reverb is the skizzo brother of new beta, a 3D spec'd rally thru some of NHK's darkest, most driven material, done with a gangster swang in deft minor key arrangements that hint at a certain rudeboy vulnerability. It's seven tracks toe a fine line between novel and nasty; sidewinding from warehouse acid to brukkin' garage techno by the brutal close of "1073+snare", or basic channeling Autechre/Reich-ian chords with sole-melting synth juice in "Y", only to unexpectedly turn out a baroque scally bubble, Zomby style, with "1082_s". Make no mistake, it's a record full of club bangers, though: "L gets on Lory D levels of neo acid house squirm and "1038_lo_oct" will demolish a big room at the right time thanks to some properly toned sub-bass, adding a new weapon to Diagonal's arsenal of world-scattered radge packets. It's proper fuel for DJs, dancers and headphone excursionists - and the artwork by Guy Featherstone, makes it just a good ol' laugh to look at. This is NHK's best work - and it demands to be felt. Mastered by Matt Colton. RIYL: Demdike Stare, Gescom, Blawan, Zomby.