Open Music Lab x Redox
Out: 14th August
“What we achieved in this album is just a beautiful example of what happens when people come together with wonder and work collectively in order to create beauty for the world.” Idil Abla
The Berlin musical community and social scene come together in the form of Open Music Lab. The ethics are clear, bring people together and see how they get along. From diverse backgrounds in music and culture, a compendium of musicians have collaborated to create one stand-out EP production. Redox contains the work of seven unique creators who have communicated and mused together in order to create one thing. An embodiment of peace in our time, this record takes many of the faces in the electronic music masquerade and shows how the pantomime progresses independently.
It begins with a beautiful classical guitar strummed melody. Warm vinyl distortion crackles like a nearby fire. Notes build from the music as a pretty and intimate vocal line enters with whisperings and poetry. We listen intently as the music builds alongside a gentle drumming. A musical progression evolves from picked notes that nestle within larger chord structures. Freya Van Husen offers up Volandora, it's magical and painted in all the colours of folk.
Next is Silencio by Gotopo. Bass and guitar work in harmony as sonic song is sprayed in moments of emotive clarity. Guitar picks at the underlying motif while slow breathing rhythm creates an open door for us to enter. The foreign language lyrics mean so much as the disposition of their singer is dramatically performed.
Warbles and disembodied sounds curdle to form a piano melody that resonates within glorious depths. Slender vocals paint stripes on the humming harmonies with an amplified hush. Then, a foray of drumming begins while loops vocal projections build a clever rhythm. Synthesiser tones wash down like pouring rain as the dreamy echoes cast their spell over the listener. Libre by Inda Wood brings the electronic music element to the forefront.
A swell of synthesiser and human voice marks the entrance of Maret's Liz A deep sway of string and brass lifts a clattering train rhythm into the sonic horizon while droplets of cybernetic composition flutter from the clouds. The drum solidifies for a moment, creeping along as the bars define it. Then once again the liquid motion of molten timing runs forward, rivering across jagged scapes of vocal inflection and sloshy metalwork.
Then, a breathy tone rises from the warmth as a countdown signals the ignition sequence of the next number. Rising tones build in pressure as the activation repeats, a tension builds in invisible yet tenuous strands of intent. Notes dapple like birdsong through sudden and lingering mists. This is just a test, a spectral dreaminess then washes through, rinsing the passion from blue to red. MINQ brings us Five, a primary set of mathematical functions that translate the world into Latinate symbols.
Morphena is next with C1B3RT3K. It looks like someone's login password. Not mine, thankfully. That would be awkward. A jumpy rhythm opens up with vocal line that repeats standardised phrases. It senses like something trivial yet acutely different is happening, a subtle nuance gives us poise for thought. Rampant and thrashing electronic happening begin to chant and chunt in wafts of well homogenised emulsions of scattered sound. A busy colour-scheme plays in spiralling sections on a woody and hedonistic bass and space-sample.
It ends with a resonant pounding drum. Idil Abla presents Bumble. A double layering of rhythmic fills is added to by a third, then a fourth, as tempo is defined by various tonal drums and cymbal. Bass throbs behind, filling voids with a slight resonance which holds as each percussive sound decays into the next. This is dance via distinctive and persistent rhythm, trance breaks push forward while minimal drum lines throw a stitched percussion directly at us.
You can listen to Open Music Lab on Soundcloud
Buy Redox EP on Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.