Since the ‘Vibrant Music’ label always has been a favorite of mine and since Naono has been heavily involved in the very same label from the start. This 2010 Archaic Horizon release enticed great hopes when I found it and let me tell you straight away it does not disappoint!
For even more cross-reference it was actually Ten And Tracer’s ‘You’ll Be A Hero Soon, Speaker’ that directed my attention to the label in the first place unknown to me up till then. Furthermore both Milieu (who’s fantastic ‘A Warm Wooden Hollow’ 2008 album on Infraction has yet to be written about here) as well as Electricwest have releases on the very same label.
‘Sleepy Pebbles’ is excellent in it’s entirety, it’s lush, programmed and executed with expertise. It’s hard to comprehend that a full 8 years have passed since Naono’s debut ‘Slope Drifting’ was released on the aforementioned Vibrant Music.
In total there are 7 beautiful tracks on ‘Sleepy Pebbles’ which by the way has cover art to match the musical quality. The album starts off with ‘Healing Process’ in a as soothing as it is well sounding mood. It flows on towards ‘Hobo The Hermit’, which is filled with rich texture as well as structure (beats). ‘Ocean Tapes’ is liquid and contains some perfectly devised watery samples. Apart from being a really good title ‘Random Lullabies’ features more of the warmth and lushness demonstrated thus far. ‘Sellotape Unicorn’ is my favorite track the percussion, bass, dub elements and down toned drama is simply sublime. ‘Tender Telescope’ and ‘Untitled Merrow’ conclude this excellent release by Naono.
And then you play ‘Sellotape Unicorn’ just one more time, especially if you happen to be on a headphone commute. Available at the Archaic Horizon label site.
Aitänna77 is far from being a stranger here at resurface and it’s lovely to once again encounter his musical output. This time around on the (by the look of things unstoppable) Portuguese Test Tube net label, currently racking up 247 something releases the past 8 years or so. ‘Night Loops’ is number 246 and it is an in all aspects excellent four track release; featuring the patented quirky little melodies, the varied instrumentation, the electronics and the skilfully treated lo-fi production. The tale-tell chimes in ‘Empty Pool, Summer Girl’ and you simply have to love the outrageous bass line and aggressive hand-clap featured in ‘Dreams Or Memories’. It is a delicate as it is excellent! Available at the Test Tube label site.
On ‘Walls Have Fears’ we hear Inigo Kennedy pursuing the path struck in his early 2011 ‘Distant Circles‘ release. As expected it’s well-produced, clever electronic music that is decidedly and firmly rooted in Techno. Very big drums, yet delicate and always with the unmistakable IK touch. ‘Cautum’, ‘Squirkle’, ‘Sentinel Four’, ‘Nocturnal’ and ‘Speechless (feat. Laska)’ all possess the aforementioned qualities. The big drums in ‘Cautum’, ‘Squirkle’, ‘Sentinel Four’, the distinct hand-clap in Nocturnal’ or the delicately constructed beats and accompanied vocals in the concluding and mellow ‘Speechless (feat. Laska)’. This is an excellent techno release complete with a funny title and a down-tempo number as conclusion. It is readily available in digital format at the Inigo Kennedy run Asymmetric label site.
Another offering from the friendly ‘Plastic Sound Supply’ label operating out of Denver, Colorado in the USA. ‘Covalent States’ is a four track release featuring two artists. One of them is closely associated with PSS, namely Scaffolding, who was featured alongside Heft on the very first PSS release ‘We Will Diminish’ in 2008. ‘Covalent States’ is a nice sounding and rather traditional take on electronic music, and time-less in a sense because it could have been made a couple years ago, making it somewhat generic. That being said you do get solid musical workmanship, nice melodies and ample of bass. Keeping it short: it is a nice listen and it’s available at the Plastic Sound Supply label site.
Reportedly ‘End of an Era’ is Jon Elliott last release using the name Polestar and given that his first release ‘Camplex EP’ on Boltfish Recordings was reviewed in 2005.
It now only seems as fitting as it is sad that Polestar’s last release also is a Boltfish one. At the time of his debut release I wrote the following among other things:
‘The flawless programming of beats, lush sounds, heaps of that all important bass and the overall warmth characterising this particular label’s sound is demonstrated to the fullest by Polestar on this his four-track debut release.’
The exact same thing could be said of the six tracks on ‘End of an Era’ that represents the closing chapter of the musical acquaintance that has been: Polestar.
‘Drawn and Quartered’ sees Deadbeat returning in form on his newly started BLKTRZ label.
The four-track album is packed with e-dub of the highest order and the production techniques are perfected. The tracks are all generously stretched to the 10 minute marker and beyond.
Like I’ve said many times in the past, some like it and some don’t. I think it’s simply masterful!
The Swedish based net label El-Ljud tenth release was Plakto’s ‘The Ninth Snail’ and it preceded the excellent thirteenth release ‘Soul’d Out’ by the same artist.
The categorisation is solid E-dub, excellent production and plenty of bass to go around. The 8 tracks on ‘The Ninth Snail’ are a treat and there’s enough complexity for a truly enjoyable and recurring listen. Did I mention the ample amounts of bass, fused with the exact amount of glitch and echo?
‘The Ninth Snail’ starts off exactly like described above; ‘Western Flab’ has a hypnotic bassline and excellent melody. In short a great track. ‘Misplaced Mom’ and ‘The Reset Chair’ are somewhat dubbier in nature, in the classical sense; ‘Artificial Cherry’ is short but sweet, whereas ‘Hypnotoad’ and ‘Satanic Cat Standard’ combine the bass content with some definite techno treatment. To summarise the 8 tracks on ‘The Ninth Snail’ all leave you feeling warm inside and wanting to play them again.
It is an excellent album and the workmanship of a truly talented producer. ‘The Ninth Snail’ and 13 other interesting releases are available as download on the El-Ljud website. Get them now!
Plakto’s ‘Soul’d Out’ is the thirteenth release on the until recently completely unknown (to me that is) Swedish net label El-Ljud. They already have some 14 releases to their credit so I for one have obviously missed out on something great. The thirteenth release ‘Soul’d Out’ by Plakto has overall impressive qualities. It is solid E-dub*, excellent production and plenty of bass to go around.
The 8 tracks on ‘Soul’d Out’ are a treat and there’s enough complexity for a truly enjoyable long recurring listen. Did I mention the ample amounts of bass, fused with the exact amount of glitch and echo? The build-up and beats’ handling in ‘Wasted Basket’ or the up-tempo yet dubby ‘Off Course’ are awesome. It is the workmanship of one talented producer and the list just goes on throughout the all the eight tracks of the mini-album. ‘Soul’d Out’ is available as download on the El-Ljud website. The strong recommendation is, to get and play it right now!
And after some more listening to the catalog it is just not possible not to name the rest of the artists’ exquisite releases on the label and if for no other reason so just for the sake of simplicity. And the artists are: Nacho Monetto, Maschinenschlosser, Node, Psonikadia, Foudish, Pliir, Plaktogen, Switchcraft. It’s not impossible that a text or four related to El-Ljud will surface right here in the near future, excellent stuff!
*After re-listening to both El-Ljud 013 and 010 I see myself forced to introduce a genre, new [Sic!] to resurface and that genre would be ‘dubstep’. The reason for this is simply that Soul’d Out is in part just that, a really well executed and highly personal take on the dubstep genre.
Soutien Gorge of Bitlab Records’ fame returns to Boltfish Recordings with another two-track treat of warm and in all aspects cuddly electronic music (JAN 2011).
The ‘Bolida/Hó’ is their third release on Boltfish following the ‘Vízállásjelentés’ 2007 and ‘Szerelmes Nóta/Délutániád’ 2008 releases. Not as friendly as their 2008 release ‘Szerelmes Nóta/Délutániád’, but comparing with a lot of the rest of the down-tempo stuff these days (2011) it’s still a genuinely warm and cuddly experience.
And you get two tracks of well produced warm lush electronic music and the only major question really, is what-ever happened to the ultra-sweet characters appearing on Soutien Gorge’s debut ‘Persze Remixes’ on Bitlab Records dating from 2005? I do hope the little ones are doing alright, in this cold, cold World!
‘Together EP’ is aAirial’s debut release on Imaginary Nonexistent Records. The previous output includes “Le fil du temps” and “Incoercible” on the net labels Laridae respectively Breathe, not forgetting his contribution to the ‘Intelligent Toys 6’ compilation on Lithuania’s Sutemos label. The ‘Together EP’ is comprised by six delicate tracks filled with largely piano based ambient bass rich lushness.
In complete and utter unfairness to the rest of the tracks I’m going to single out ‘Like a Summer Evening…’ and ‘Piano Impro #2’ as my favourites, the first because of it’s solitary piano, imposing warm strings and possibly its title, since the snow is currently falling… the second for the same reason as the firstly named quality of the first to be singled out.
This EP as a whole has some definite cinematic qualities; it’s deeply melancholic and indeed exceedingly beautiful, music that is thoroughly enjoyable. In short aAirial adds another fine release to the Imaginary Nonexistent Records catalogue. Download or CDR is available at the inrecs website.