Kito & Reija Lee ‘Starting Line’

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KITO & REIJA LEE are, predictably, a two-piece, hailing from London. A bit less predictable, though, is the recognition the young pair have already achieved in the spheres of international electronica via PayDay Records.

They’ve successfully scored the top spot on America’s iTunes electronic charts—and the blistering style with which they execute their craft.

Childhood friends from way back when, one half of the alluring femme fatale duo (namely: Reija) takes the reins on the vocals, whilst the other (Kito) mans the production side of things. It’s a designation of duty that works swimmingly for musical pairs the world over, but KITO & REIJA LEE pull it off with especial aplomb.

It was the brilliantly sleazy ‘LFO’ that first snared the attention of DIPLO—their latest track, ‘Starting Line’, however, shows a slightly less aggressive side of the coin, sporting a somewhat cleaner finish.

Machine gun percussion stutters harken the arrival of Kito’s buzzing synth layers, washing through the opening act and relenting only briefly to welcome in Reija’s warm, rounded vocal verses. By the time the two central elements come head-to-head in the chorus, the track is resembling something very reminiscent of bands like CHVRCHES, HAIM, and certain moments of ST VINCENT.

Not solely because these artists are all synth-happy acts with female vocalists—such details are largely coincidental—but because they craft that particular kind of electro-pop that’s got just enough fuzzy edge to avoid being cheesy, yet just enough polish to remain intoxicatingly smooth.

It’s hardly a starting line: if these stellar beginnings are any kind of reliable indication, then KITO & REIJA LEE are already well on the road to excellence. But that road’s probably paved with tracks like this.

Words by Gavin Butler