Reshaped Distortions EP
TBR: 1st March
Long standing EDM producer Bajram Bili returns to Lumière Noire for his debut EP. Having featured on the label's From Above compilation album not so long ago, the name and sounds of Bajram Bili have had people talking. Based in France, listeners and DJs all over Europe and beyond are keen to get their ears into this next instalment. Since 2017's Remembered Waves, a synergy between styles brought much critical acclaim whilst offering new freedoms to the way club music should sound.
Beginning with No Frugue, a staggering beat plays out. Looped and fragmented drums build into a steady flow before bass tones jolt in from the floor up. Pulsations of rhythm on the sub surge in a slow moving dancing pace. A vocal sample is thrown in for effect, it drives the energy forward. New elements of rhythm find their way in, quicker steps build into a double timed blip which becomes a standing-point for a whole new dimension to the track. Pads and tones slurp in the flowing river of sounds, gulping in well-sculpted sonics. Digital energy and uplifting grooves allow for a great feeling walk through bass, beats, and computerised melody. Elements of the Chemical Brothers flavour the progression in the use of technology and rhythm.
The next number takes off from the same bouncing energy left behind by the first. Crumbling down to bare basics, it allows for a fresh start with the sonic architecture. Voice like synths wail over the top like winds on an open moorland, bouldering rhythmic plucks craft a steady path through a gently rolling terrain. Floral boundaries and hard level ground give a pleasant and ambling sense to this dreamy composition. Fluttering chugs along with graceful rhythm, energetic tones behind the frontage creep and screech while an ever evolving percussion section manages to continually break free. A more house orientated feel to this second number draws us away from the banging quality of the first and pushes us out to sea where white clouds and blue waters surround us.
Turn it over and we're met with Mother. A subtle pad gradually shines forward and as it grows in amplitude, another synth voice joins in the melody. The twinned notes grow in harmonic strength before a crashing drum enters on a slow trajectory. It sounds as if a marching band are performing a few streets away and someone in the room is playing along. The resonance is spectacular and its alluded charisma shakes the whole composition. Much less dance orientated and drawing on ambient music influences, the track gradually progresses in timbre and colour during soft and well tampered melodic scores. The background briefly clears and nothing but a fury of sound grows like vines from the nearby source. Multiple snaking tunes drift long and twist around each other before that slow paced smashing drum begins to holler once again.
Finally, we're treated to something more rhythmic. A quick beat begins instantaneously along with a vocal sample, throwing in a bit of human energy. Wobbly blips begins to build a melody, soon to be joined by similarly shaped bass tones. The spongy depth to the texture within the notes gives the track a rounded quality, a steady bass drum keeps new elements and sounds stitched into the same cloth. Spooky edges and psychedelic bubbles levitate over the glistening lamps of heavy beats. It culminated into a snare roll which projects onwards, bringing a sense of urgency to the mix. This new direction brings a clear motivation to dance franticly while keeping our eyes on the DJ. They have all the best moves. Divided Flash ends this four track epic really well, crafting an exciting finish to a wide-reaching selection of mixes.
Bajram Bili is on Facebook
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Fred und Luna
TBR: 22nd March
Proper elekrokraut fans will definitely remember Monotonikum, seeing as it was a featured track on the massive Fabric 100 a few months ago. This dancefloor hit sealed the Fred und Luna sound for us all, and enabled them to make huge waves with Compost Records. The new EP works off of the back of their last album, Im Tiefenrauch. We're drawn back in with four expertly manicured tracks which pay homage to the group's 2016 debut while continuing the sonic journey into ever higher dimensions. It's been a heavy ride since their first album from 'back in the day', titled Im Klanggarten. In high demand, it seems, Fred und Luna have positioned themselves on a few labels over the past few years, establishing listening crowds in as many zones as possible. Billed as a dance-floor epic, Im Tanzrauch culminates everything so far plus some more with mixing by the world-renowned Jan Krause from Beanfield.
It begins with Der Elekrolektor. A bouncy rhythm opens the track, full of looped overlaps, then a keys melody begins to tell the story. Blippy sonics float on effervescent waters, to be joined by deep tones like giant fishes swimming just beneath the surface. Menisci forming notes build from the sides, a rhythmic pattern of moving up and down as the waves lap the edge of the experiment. Tension and motion combine in a dynamic and minimal yet complex-stepping dance track. Build-ups, run-downs, and injections of clarity all make themselves heard to bring the flow into the fast paced halls, no doubt queuing up to play this.
Subtle funk breaks open a can of the good stuff as Compostonikum begins the second mix. Smooth rhythm on the keys is joined by deep and resonant drumming, mid-ranged in tone yet reaching and far sounding. It has a tribal element, like a wooden hand-drum and to validate the theory, a tribal chanting begins to layer the top. Heavenly sounding pads waft in on spectral melodics while the rhythm enhances on the surrounding progression. The melody shifts to allow for a new direction. Buzzing electronics drift in from the right, carving out a bee-line for the chanting again. The homely and organic feel meets the digital flow and they love each other.
Third up and we get a much more digital feeling piece. Blippy beats begin the motion and a wobbly synth churns out a dynamic melody. A vocoder sampled voice makes use of its suggestive robotics and the progression revs up to meet the new energy. Extra percussion is sprinkled in at all the right places and the melodics wander and surge to find ever novel harmonies and subtle variations. Fast-stepping and simple timing combined with an ever-changing scenery of sonics makes Es Ist Heiß a classic floor-filler. As the music evolves, everything pushes harder and further into a massive array of electronic sounds before a gradual release.
To finish, People Mambo starts on another tribal sound. This time, it's female voices singing. It's not clear what they're saying but it sounds great. New pot drums make a percussive melody on the top shelf, next to a buzzing fizz. Deeper notes start to pluck away, merging with the drumming, and finding a bridge between the traditional electro kit and the organic percussion instruments which work together. Melody finds a way to shine through the huge wall of rhythm, springy high notes and bow-string lower ones glow from the fractures while the singing continues to fill the sound with humanity. People Mambo! Now we're talking, and it seems to be saying that there's nothing better than being around good people. I'd tend to agree.
You can get the album from Compost Records on Bandcamp
And also follow Compost Records on Facebook
Fred und Luna can be found on Facebook
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TBR: 22nd February
Manifesting a realm of surreality with electronic sculpture is what Ghost Halo does best. Since the acclaimed Hyperdeath from September last year, Ghost Halo decided to bring on 3 brand new EPs each dedicated to observation, Jungian dream-imagery, and subtle society. With this first chapter, bringing on the winter, we're treated to well-prepared synthesiser volleys adjusted to fit with shady beats. It's all designed to inspire reflective introspection and imaginative speculation. Checking in at local landmarks during the dead of night, while the city folk rest their dreaming heads, Ghost Halo takes on the personality of the night-time walker, connected to the deep emotional energy that comes alive after dark.
It begins on Citadel. Wavering synths and industrial sounds mingle in a cake of snugly mixed melodic noise. A tune breaks free from the knotted waveforms and begins a snaky journey into the cosmic beyond. Below, machines churn and assemble their goods as a dancing energy observes and enjoys the engineered processes. Next is beat cycle. Making use of rhythm, the album begins to progress into its adventure. A new melody whistles in a low key over staggered and reverb rich drums. Metalwork begins to tap a regular beat while a kick-drum fills in the gaps. An emerging tune draws luminous lines in the slow moving space around us. It's a dance of contrasts, brilliant glare in the depth of thick shadow.
A whisking beat penetrates the quiet alongside a swell of metallic sound. Pot drums portray a melodic rhythm which merges perfectly with the already catchy under-section. Higher tones begin to twinkle like terracotta stars in a green-house sky, we sit and watch as the story unfolds in neatly portioned chapters. Metallic plucking notes swoop in from underneath and start a layer of subtle shimmer between the rhythmic sheets. Each taking turns, Loop Earring has a collaboration feel to it, where various perspectives and agendas meet to form one unified flow. A new melody peeks through for the next track. An eerie and disjoined loop of notes swells and becomes harmonised with on various levels. Minimal drums weld themselves on at the places where the notes meet, and the tone is set for letting our minds fill in the spaces of Ritual. Suddenly, a snare drum crashes through the window with an amplitude that tops the rest of the track. Now we're pushed into a more energetic gear and the dreamy soundscape of before has become an undercurrent of something fitting the dance-floor.
We're joined by a sombre mood with the opening of Hopeless At 0150. Being in this state of mind feels like this, drawn out breaths of musical thoughtfulness. A chime begins to spell a higher dimension to the cloud, perhaps an element of moonlight gleaming through the thinly dispersed vapours. A sleek and continuous rhythm builds in the shadows, resembling the on-going journey of traffic during the night-time hours. Those cars, who is driving them and where are they going? Have they had a good time? A reverberating depth comes forth for the next number. Nature Documentary takes us into the deepest parts of the unknown to discover what makes its home in the mysterious places. Insects buzz around and swooping leaves block our path as we tread onwards through brambly verges and tree-root bridges over washed out gorges. A dark rhythm full of surprises builds over the top, like the unpatterned yet familiar array of branches leaning out to touch our faces. A steadiness finds its way into the rhythm and the track progresses into a dream wander through unknown destinations.
Finishing on Until A Stranger Calls And Takes You Back To The Weeds, this EP inspires all kinds of imaginative story-telling. We will likely never know what gives Ghost Halo his unique blend of hard edged percussion and interwoven sonics made of various sound experiments, perhaps the enjoyment is in the mystery itself.
You can find Ritual Phonecalls by Ghost Halo on Bandcamp
Also look for Ghost Halo on iTunes
and Amazon UK
Ghost Halo is on Soundcloud
Also, you may enjoy reading Low Light and Night Photography: Art and Techniques by Neil Freeman
TBR: 22nd February
A trio of talent from an upcoming Amsterdam party collaborate for this ultra-limited cassette release with unlimited downloads, of course. Junction run parties and events including the Dutch capital for techno and EDM fans around the world. Plenty of people from the local area of course help fly the flag for Holland where the rich tourist industry brings in all the foreign shoppers. This mixing pot of ideas and desire for great music can only result in some of the best and most appropriate sounds of the modern era.
The first track is made by label boss, Cool Tiger. It opens with a tribal style tubular rhythm, not far from the Blue Man Group sound. A frantic barrage of repeating beats swells in amplitude as staggered bars echo into a frothy mixture of reverb. New elements of percussion are included, deeper tones, treble reaching areas, and all the while the distance travelled by each percussive jolt reaches deep into the pipes. Suddenly, a grating bass throws itself down like a tantruming child, splurging a high energy dancing beat into the mix. A filling and overpowering flavour cuts through the tube drums to bring on a heavy and techno fuelled surge. New drums, heavy on the hats, kick in and start a frenzy of high dance motion. Alternate Self (Yellow) speaks volumes in what these parties are fundamentally for. Party at the highest volume. Seriously folks, this track is crazy and highly enjoyable.
Next is Saffire by label new-comers modrn. This rule-breaking duo of sound-technicians bring us a distorted and warbly intro, layered with a sinister vocal sample. Blip buzz bass brings an industrial edge and the force of evil spoken as it is, a shadowy sensation is draped over the music. Disjointed drums show us another way of looking at the track, and as we settle on the new perspective, adjusting for the off-beat, a secondary rhythm pushes down to show us how to dance. Not that we need instruction, only it's best if we all dance to the same beat. Broken and lucid, this minimalistic rendition gives us exactly what we need and nothing more. Wholesome sounds fill the spaces and subtle adjustments keep the repeating phrases fresh. New layers of rhythm are included at regular intervals to ensure that we remain dynamic in the dreamy and evocative number.
To finish up, a distant and ambient soundscape is built for us. Far-off chords reach us via distorting and refractive landscapes and valleys, light drifts down from the sky and nature grows from the ground, meeting us as we walk among the gradually building sonic universe. Horn like emanations meet breathy and slow waveforms which feel like friction between large sheets of polished steel. Sounds from all areas are flattened out and pin-pointed into one audible space which whistles and furies in quiet confusion as more and more energy is compressed into the socket. Maybe this is what a black-hole feels like when another star finds itself swallowed by its reaching arms. Frablum give us 412, a ten minute tromp through futuristic and imaginative composition. Melody makes its way into the piece after a hugely drawn out intro, soon to be met with dirty loud beats. These outdo the previous sound and provide a techno infused slog through muddy waters and sound reflecting people.
From beginning to end, this journeying EP takes us from the peaks of the night to the closing down zone where all becomes a dreamy memory.
Junction Records are on Facebook
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Deep Sea Survivor EP
TBR: 22nd February
Since moving to Berlin from native Australia to embark on the epic label project Salt Mines Music with fellow Aussie musician Shedbug, Rudolf C has been working on this snappy and floor-pleasing house release. Known for working with catching rhythms and intelligent sonic effects, this rhythm and keys exploration takes us down a corridor of four unique and masterfully blended tracks. Electronic dance doesn't come more anticipated than this, DJ Seinfeld couldn't help but put one of these on his earlier various artist's compendium. Not long now until we can all enqueue this one in our playlist. Much talk is afoot at the regular parties which can be found in trendy London and underground Estonia, where two parallel lines run towards the same goal of great music. The sounds are on the move, and it won't be long until another line of events begins in post-depression Poland.
Beginning on hard-nosed snare and kick, warbling tones in the mid range swerve into place in elasticated snaps. Bass rolls in with a wholesome full flavour which resonates perfectly with the drums, relentlessly pushing on in persistent tempo. A short break-down gives us room to breathe, perhaps mix in another track if we're into that, and then after a few more bars, a chiming whistle melody springs into action. Lifting the whole piece higher, the injection of proto-cosmic life reveals a dreamy and wistful edge. Wide reaching chorded tones emanate from the synthesiser to fill spaces previously unknown while the high energy dancing beat keeps all spinning in the air. Industrial crunch bass finds a sweet-spot in the mix to bring the final evolution to its culmination, as all winds down to reveal the undercurrent of moving energy, Deep Sea Survivor draws to a close.
Next, another ravishing rhythm strikes its timing down and a zappy bass begins to double strike in neat portions. New drums give an extra layer of energy to the music vector and as the bars roll by, a step up in gear brings the bass and drums into a quick-stepping surge. New sonics are gathered and neatly placed on the edges of the surging tempo. Frantic dancing probable by this point, a new melody plucks a tune from invisible air strings before a vocal sample reverberates around the audial space. New directions of energy in the composition throw tangents into the crowd as the repeating phrases in distorted phonics ramble and roll onwards. Fuzzy bass and elevated beats keep an element of energy on the high setting while the otherworldly sensations complete the jigsaw. Second Hand Love yet again pulls in the people for group dancing sessions from all crowds.
Shmartie Pantz opens with distorted vocals, a robotic voice command repeats in an echoing slice over the space before us. Wobbling ripples and bubbles of sound begin to open the room out into a wide space while drums carry forward a new breathy feel. Simple two-step timing in the beat makes a simplistic backing for mysterious and enchanting sounds. Psychedelic infusions of wave and effect bring out a dreamy and haze laden mix, the rhythm like bright lamps showing us where to walk. As the progression continues, more synthesiser tones bring out watery and viscous sonics that almost drown the relentlessly pounding drum-track. More robotica churns out from the mix in bass line like pads which flatter down the airy cloudiness from before. Nods towards the 90s are rife in this wobbly and nostalgic composition.
Natural Cycle breaks in straight away with a melodic flush before a funky set of drum beats spill over into the quiet. More tones grow and luminesce in abstract directions, various colour of note play in harmony to spray volleys of light into the gloomy corners. Digital orchestrations of complimentary synthesiser and rhythm span out into a highly manicured and deliciously complex layering of rhythms and tunes. Sunny escapades into bright spaces give this final track a fully uplifting feel and stunning brilliance in the choices of pads means the sonics snugly fit together in an otherwise chaotic mish-mash of percussive sounds. Natural cycles are often simple and complex all at once, and this track mirrors that more than adequately. The best art always mirrors nature.
Find more from the X-Kalay Records website
and follow the label on Soundcloud.
Find Rudolf C on Facebook
and listen on Soundcloud
Also, you may enjoy reading: The Historical Seeds and Worldwide Dissemination of House Music by Dana Ayres
Loose Fit 003
Loose Fit Records
TBR: 15th February
Loose Fit has its home in Berlin however they also run exclusive events in Manchester and Tokyo. Their brand of high energy party music for electronic fans has seen them format several parties and nightlife events as well as steadily dishing out quality vinyl releases. Loose Fit 003 is headed up by Pépe, already established and fortified in the scene with releases on Renascence, Deep Sea Frequency, and Lobster Theremin. It's well known that Pépe is a dab hand at mixing and mastering, as established and well-loved Anti Skate, Midnight Themes, and Easy Tiiger have all requested remix credits from this talented musician. Billed as music for raving to, this double A side and a remix from Lauer needs to be taken seriously.
Beginning with singing pads, reaching into the sky, a quick paced funky rhythm adds a dancing beat. Rapturous drums and cymbal taps spill neat lines of class in front of us, melodic percussion gives a new flavour, layerings of beat and tone combine to bring uplifting sensations. Revolving sonics in the background swell and warble with their adjusting tonalities as the punchy rhythm sustains a glorious feel good factor. Laser strikes and vocal samples fill a brief void, and the melody and drum pushes on to further lift up the room. Light (High As You Can See) sounds amazing, with catchiness from the start. An electro bass finds its way in for a solo at the half way mark, and it breaks free from its oppressive compression to grow into a tree-trunk of timing and tone. The music falls back into place, pushing the bass back in the mix to finish on an ever increasing high.
Trouble Glider starts with a melody like the shape of gently moving clouds. Bass drum kicks in to bring a sensation of floor to the upward facing tune. Drum and cymbal add to twisting shapes all the while as constant motion in the sky reveals ever shifting colours. Airy notes sprinkle heavy textures on even spaced points, firmly rooted and balanced with each other. Rivers of percussion roll down the hillsides and as they greet each other in the luminous valleys, their combined efforts provide a bouncy and enjoyable frolic through fields and woodland. Cosmic openness with a homely swing within choices of chord and scale gives Trouble Glider a relaxing zone yet manages to be forward facing enough to inspire motivation.
The Lauer remix of Trouble Glider opens with the same heavenly pad synths, bustling for a space in the sky. A new rhythm, bright and sunny, breaks from the forest floor and reaches to meet the melody. Extra elements of drum are given air to breathe, and as the beats roll out and progress, it's topped with a steady and juicy bassline. Plucky notes bounce from one cloud to another while skylight style synthesiser radiates across the whole room. The sonic space is built from glass, transparent and reflective surfaces sparkle around us and the continual evolution of music carries a happy and uplifting euphoria. Bouncy chords and spinning notes form a surface for strings to throw their drawn out voices across like flat plains of lush surroundings. High energy and sensations of calm form a double sided experience of dancing pleasure.
Listen to the Lauer remix of Trouble Glider on Soundcloud.
Also, you may enjoy reading
Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture by Simon Reynolds
TBR: 22nd February
Glasgow based Bricolage is home to the secretive and mysterious character that is No Arrival. With his second album offering on this label, backed up with appearances on several various artist releases, No Arrival remains true to form and works on delicious brokenness and digital distortions of all flavours. By capturing the sense of atmosphere in his use of wandering percussion, dressed in abstract sounds and progression, this new release from No Arrival explores further and deeper for our listening pleasure. By priding themselves on being “Under The Underground” the Bricolage label is a perfect home for this talented yet reticent originator.
The album begins with a track called New U. Melodic percussion with bells and snare-drum begin the piece on a calm and steady pace. This breaks down into digital noises like machines undergoing complicated procedures. The beat starts up again, this time with an infusion of high velocity stabs like sparks flying from a naked wire. Exciting and mysterious, the abstraction of sound merges with the repeating rhythm to provide a structured jungle of naturally disjointed sounds. Bass tones creep in from carpeted hallways and, with staring eyes, shoots soft daggers around the tightly knit room. Underground sounds for intelligent dancers, it sets a fantastic and subculturally relevant scene.
The next track starts with a windy soundscape, strange noises resonate through the pillars of darkness before a twinkling sound like distant shards of sunlight gathers momentum in the dust. A melody pushes through like a playful anticipation which begins to become overwhelmed by the immensity of the space laid out before us. A tapping drum throws a new energy into the room, and it brings with it a layered rhythm of cymbal taps and wooden blocks. Vibrating patterns and shimmering sounds combine in a distantly reaching but close enough to touch labyrinth of sonics. Carried perhaps wants to pick us up and run us around this artistic and dreamy landscape. Vocals fly from one side to another in a wave of flashing sound, then greeted by the howling of the wind, the flow of air sinks all else into silence.
Group Flow has a catching rhythm that hits us straight away. It progresses with extra percussives which become part of a melody, swinging in a style not far away from the tropical. A summertime element to the clamour of happy bells merges with a spongy texture of interesting drums and quick paced cymbals that radiate like an overbearing sun. Everything seems so tranquil and glamorous, then a synthesiser falls into place with a beautiful hum of blanketing sound. Odd notes drape over the otherwise harmonious patterns, bringing out rocky enclaves for thoughtful musing. Stable rhythms keep everything placed in perfect timing, and with surges of intention from drums and melodic bells that arrive like wild animals, the natural bounty is revealed.
Next is an ambient introduction, waving phonics and sonics coalesce in a growing mulch of sound. New beats are laid down to bring a groove along with the calming composition. Organic bass journeys tread across fields of frosty grass while boulders left from long passed glaciers stand rigid as reminders of forgotten times. Snaking melody with glistening radiance shines and reflects from the gently moving music, sensations of oriental and tribal thought play in the dappled light of the progression. As a further dose of resonance washes over, sustaining the notes and beats into a sheet of distorted sound, a protruding melody on airy synthesiser pads breaks free and becomes a platform for a new rhythm. Quick and frantic minimal bursts of rim tap frame a deep and chasmous bass spiral in slow moving steps into beyond. Play is a gloomy and thoughtful wallow in sub sonics and distortions of humanity.
It's followed by Ama. Another fun and resonant bass plucks a tuneful rhythm over some relaxing beats. Digital notations play blips over the top in a joyous and brisk expression of mood. The layerings of sound work like a sandwich, every fresh ingredient positioned in its rightful place in sequence of amplitude, space, and temperature. Robotic voices are inserted, repeating phrases which create a sense of communication, even if there are no audible words. New sounds and vocal samples add ever changing colours of direction to the sound. Steady rhythm ensures the piece stays compatible with the logical side of the mind while ever shifting sands of emotion and projected musical intent swirl before us.
The final number closes the dream with impressionist loops and sonic directions which quickly swell and bloom into massive drums. A fast and energetic beat pounds down while moving synthesiser and wavering bass surge onwards. Creating a chaotic yet harmonious synthesis of sound together for one final push into the sky, Universal Echo captures a high of the night, formed by people and music together. It's a great place to end the album, and it invites us to start it from the beginning. By the time we get to this point, it's hard to recount the entire journey.
You can get in touch with Bricolage Records on Facebook
You can also visit their website.
Subvert Yourself by No Arrival is available to pre-order/buy from Bandcamp
Also, follow No Arrival on Soundcloud.
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TBR: 22nd February
Since featuring on ADSR Collective and Kann Records, Yalex Recordings owner Mary Yalex takes on the imprint headed up by Danny Clancy. The Dichotomy label's first of 2019 makes full use of Mary Yalex's ability to lay down exquisitely deft electronics fortified with body grabbing rhythms. With every new release this German born producer seems to reach beyond her grasp and finds herself leaping from strength to strength. Remember When takes four digitally crafted journeys into EDM and ambient pads while industrial tendencies keep an element of the basement well within the boundaries.
It begins on a rolling flurry of drum and cymbal strikes which create a wobbling melody with their various tones. Distant pads begin to scintillate in adjacent corridors, their lights flickering through the open doors. A two step tone rhythm begins to dominate, their warm and reverberating character completing a non-intrusive surge into the track. A new melody, playful and charming leaks through the layers of sound, evolving in timbre and strain as each bar unravels. Consistent springy beats staple the sunny and brightening synthesiser tones to a wide open field of sounds. Natural elements of inspiration can be heard in the mirroring of wildlife and the moving of the trees. Here And Nowhere Else takes us to a secluded spot and allows us to relax in companionship with the surroundings.
A gloomier side is revealed as the mix turns over to let track two enter the scene. Rapid fire cymbals and a repeating chorus effect on the synth gives a captivating and alerting sense to this intro. Title track Remember When wants to be remembered and with the cortisol infused dream sensations spurning from this one, the audio journey is exciting already. Tribal sounds in percussion adds an organic and woodland quality that when greeted by digital effects and tones, creates a symbiont sound with a haunting yet strangely calming arrangement. Repeating tones that drone as a loop, their attack and decay left to climb and fall, give a miraging perceptive quality to the outlay. High pitch whistles and chorus drenched lower and midrange synths mix with the interesting and communicative rhythm to bring out a hypnotic and enchanting production.
Static and distorted melody break free to reveal the third in the list. As the dreamy thread of direction continues, more homely feels are laid on as scratchy vinyl and sugar-shaker beats bring back memories of other times. Happy and well lit sonics gleam in neatly joined packages, the progression builds to incorporate more sounds and elements of tune. The composition swells and higher notes climb into the air like flocks of disturbed birds as two people walk by, hand in hand. Ambient Floor takes us on a sonic boat journey through the enrapturing river of inner directions. Wooden taps enter to bring the track to a graceful final chapter, with swaying tempo and enchanting sonics dripped over a solid beam of light, we're walked gently from one side to another.
Breathy notes and twisting windmills of sound build up to greet an arpeggiated flurry of digital notes. Retro waveforms with modern dress-sense dance upwards and build a neatly formed tower of sound. High pitched backwards played notes revolve around on their plinths while runs of melody take two steps at a time to fill their distances in the space needed. Resonant drums poke through and bring out a new area of dimension, the ice in the glass sensations swirl around us and as the room is mixed by the reaching stick of the sound quality, we're dizzied by the flux of electronica. Wobbling melody builds on the foundations of what remains to fill a final void before the EP draws to a relaxing and morish close.
Find out more on the Mary Yalex website
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TBR: 11th February
Co-owner of Vanguard Sound and Anunnaki Cartel, prolific DJ and producer Chris Mitchell is ready to send out two releases at once. As well as Shadow Wands, there's also a splendid offering in the pipeline with Time Horizon. With his trusted Ensoniq ESQ1, Chris Mitchell builds beatless soundscapes propped up by melodic and warmed up wavecraft. As well as appearing on his own label, Chris Mitchell has worked with several others. Cementing his name in the histories of the likes of Plan B Recordings, Sistrum, and Proper Traxx, this chameleon of directions demonstrates his versatility with apparent ease. Chris Mitchell's career has taken him all over the world with his music, with international appearances including Manchester, Berlin, Paris and Tel Aviv already in his photo album. Chris Mitchell is a perfect example of an electronic musician whose work would look and sound great on tape, which is why XCPT decided to release his latest work on a limited number of them. Including a digital download, which fortunately for the rest of us is not limited, this ultra-rare piece of musical history doesn't have to leave the packet. Otherwise, you will need a cassette player. Blow the dust off your hi-fi or get a new one from here. Cassette releases are growing in popularity. Seen as a collector's choice, something to treasure and show to your friends, the old fashioned technology perhaps ties a knot between these modern sounds and their analogue foundations.
The album begins with Severing The Pain Of Analysis. Over-thinking is a habit which can lead to all kinds of unhelpful speculation, so beginning with this sounds like a great idea. Twinkling digital sounds run scales through the hair of the quiet, growing louder with each bar. Choral voice joins to underpin the sky-facing light. Bass tones add their grounding swell as the melodic dance of notation blooms. Stillness and movement combine with this subtle and invigorating composition. Build up in the digital arpeggios and leaping chord segments grow to astonishing heights before the undersound surges forward and allows the stability to fortify the new levels. Cosmic and spectral tones reveal the opening of the second number. Sudden pumps of depth in distant bass brings a far-reaching space between the sounds. Tune breaks free from the melodic chaos which bubbles from the looping synthesisers. New notes splash over the edges in neatly arranged patterns, which gradually build to become new tributaries to the greater river of symphony. Ghostly keys add a layer of the mysterious to the atmosphere, the combinations of notes draw on sudden and imminent strange. In anticipation, Undivided plays on our fears of tension.
Igo adds something new. Snow-storm like static drones through the brief pause, and with wavering tone, begins to draw an abstract picture. Twisting harmonics produce a volley of feedback and audible electronics while a solitary cymbal acts as a distant sun hidden by clouds. Occulted beauty hides behind distorting sonics and amplifier hiss. Chimes with sustain droop like pipe organ and slowly build to drown all out. The track fades to bring in a heavy thumping bass. Distorted depth-charges grab and suck while unison melodics form an almost clear composition. Underworld sensations and sinister melancholia surge with every bar. Additions of synth only add to the impending pressure of the music. Galdos has a creepy feel, it remains so even when new found positive elements peak through the gloomy fog. Cymbals return, this time with a more frantic and energetic delivery. Excitable and ready to run, this tense and foreboding number induces a state of hyper-awareness.
After The Fall begins on a plucked melody, with a bell quality. Wispy lines of sound draw mangled patterns which grow to crush the initial softness. Eerie directions of notation cannon with overwhelming bass tones while an aqualine flow gently glistens throughout. Slow and musing, this deep and heighty number reveals ghostly windswept peaks with declines into forested valleys, dwarfed by the immensity of the sky. Ancestral memories of long-gone cultures walk among the rocks as we in the present day absorb all that has come before. Next comes a shard of delicate yet integrally strong light. It beams down in adjusting melody as refractions and reflections glisten on the nearby framework. The floor opens out in the form of horn like blasts on deep and wholesome instruments. A repeating flicker of sonic clarity forms spectral objects in the corners of the mist, and a swoosh of undersound gives a shimmering feel to the whole adventure. Spirits Of Fallen raises the skeletons of the past and allows them to look around and examine what their hard work led up to. Are they satisfied?
More spectral melody casts its spell over us for the next instalment. Crumbled piano keys in frantic yet gracefully intricate strokes build an ever growing rolling hills horizon before us, closer notes drone with head massaging resonance much in the way natural beauty can do. Weighs In Passing, a sombre yet peaceful number. A faraway fire burns brightly, vivid licks of orange and red bring luminescent colour to the grainy image built in sound. It peels away into quiet until the next track starts a new journey. Tubular whines along with pitter-patter percussives build a circular space for us, filled with tangents of glowing sound. Looping melody builds to form clear patterns in the commotion while swelling amplitudes froth and overflow into each others' path. Build-up and progression form an ascent into new layers of sonic experiment and then sudden chapters of tone reveal even more facias to the slowly illuminated presence.
The album ends on Cure Yourself And Groove. This track, unlike the others, makes use of a highly catchy rhythm for us to dance to. With the same quality of sound mastery, Chris Mitchell brings us a track that shows us what can be done when you mix his music with something funky. Maybe a clue for all his DJ buddies or just another spanner in his toolbox, the new direction and cultural definition works as well as the ambient and dreamy material. It moves well enough as an album to keep us entertained while showing us a more delicate side to the electronic music scene. Discovering sweeping landscapes of sonic geography with ever changing directions of adjusted waveform is what it is all about.
The album will be available from XCPT on Bandcamp
Find music by Chris Mitchell on Bandcamp
Follow Chris Mitchell on Facebook
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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