remote_ thoughts | contemporary electronic

Son Of Rose – All In – Blanket Fields

Posted in Reviews: Electronic by remotethoughts on October 6, 2009

Son Of Rose - All In - Blanket Fields CD

Artist: Son Of Rose

Title: All In

Label: Blanket Fields

Cat No.: BF001

Format: CD – Edition of 700 hand numbered copies

I’m really happy to have snagged a copy of this first release from Kamran Sadeghi’s own Blanket Fields imprint. As Son Of Rose you may well have come across him on Yann Novak’s Dragon’s Eye label so you instantly know what sort of pedigree you’re looking at here. And this self-released CD is an absolute belter I must say.

I’ve been enjoying it for some time and really, you’re in for a treat here. I’m guessing that for a lot of you the intro track alone will be enough to instantly grab you and draw you very happily inside – it certainly was for me. It features a luscious chord sound that has a wave motion with lots of movement within the ostensibly static feel. But then it adds in a background sound and texture that complement the main chord so perfectly that it all clicks into place. And then some! From there it’s a journey through immaculate design and mood with a variety of feelings and tones making themselves known. There’s a skillful touch at work here and you can hear it in the crisp structure of the processed sounds that all combine to make some seriously beautiful pieces.

From straight-up gorgeous ambience and even a nod or two to proper electronica (and, in fact on one track I believe there’s a distinctly Detroit-styled flavour to the chords) right through to abstract, yet still coherent and sublime drones that either rumble in a bass-heavy fashion or envelop you in drapes of warm sound. Add in some almost electro-acoustic elements and you have an album that’s incredibly well rounded and manages to sit between various different sub-genres of the modern electronic sound.

I adore this album I have to say and I guess it’s not going to take a genius to work out that I’m recommending it to you in the highest possible way. A seriously good album.

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Quantec – Journey Of Mind – Silent Season

Posted in Reviews: Electronic by remotethoughts on October 5, 2009

Quantec - Journey of Mind - Silent Season CDr

Artist: Quantec

Title: Journey Of Mind

Label: Silent Season

Cat No.: SSCD04

Format: CDr – Edition of 100 hand numbered copies

I’ll start off this review by saying that I believe this is Quantec’s best work since his wonderful Quietus release – without a shadow of a doubt in fact. It’s good to hear him putting out this layered, atmospheric and predominantly ambient kind of sound and I really think it suits the style of his music as well as being perfect for the label. That’s not to say it doesn’t have beats, of course, because it does, but they’re in that low-key, unobtrusive style that allows you to just get on with the serious business of feeling the sounds and enjoying the space and form.

One thing that’s quite clear from the outset is that this is a deeply hypnotic set of tracks and there’s a distinct split between ambient flow, a lightly drone-esque feel and then those trademark 4/4 sections. If you check out the samples you’ll hear it immediately – you’ll be taken in and enveloped in a single chord which resonates serenely before being gently nudged by an insistent pulsating rhythm in the next track. The overall feel is of darkness and melancholy which is exactly the way I like it and even though it has an expansive texture I’ll stress that at all times there’s room all over the place for the sound design to shine through.

There are highlights, naturally, and they come in the shape of the haunting, disembodied voice in ‘The Unknown’ which is beautifully spooky when combined with the chord and static that accompanies it. The seemingly static groove of ‘Depth Of Immersion’ is another as it rolls along dreamily with more reverb than is probably legally allowed in a track like this – talk about echoes! And the final track ‘Atmospheric Noise’ is just straight-up a killer slice of thoughtful minimalism par excellence. But as ever with this kind of music it’s about the whole journey rather than the individual moments – you’ll find your favourite bits, I’m sure, but it all gels together into yet another wonderful album of the highest calibre.

Mastered by Relapxych.0 and strictly limited to 100 copies, this is *definitely* not one to miss out on. Superb work.

Porzellan – The Fourth Level Of Comprehension – Hibernate Recordings

Posted in Reviews: Electronic by remotethoughts on October 4, 2009

Porzellan - The Fourth Level Of Comprehension - Hibernate CDr

Artist: Porzellan

Title: The Fourth Level Of Comprehension

Label: Hibernate Records

Cat No.: HB03

Format: CDr – Edition of 150 copies

If the name Porzellan seems familiar, you may well have come across his name on the excellent Duckbay, Slow Flow and Parvo Art compilations that have come out in the last year. I’m absolutely adoring this album I have to say and it’s one of the most low-key things I’ve heard in a while and that, of course, is high praise.

Built around 5 pieces, the album could conceivably be called drone, I suppose, but it has too much of an obvious melodic component. In fact, there’s an almost classical leaning on a couple of the pieces as they gradually, oh-so-slowly build from the ground up adding in deep single note textures and tones to create a swelling and very beautiful soundscape feel. This aspect of the work is tempered sweetly by the darker and more intense designs of the other pieces and the natural flow between them is marvellous. It drifts, for the most part, taking you with it on a subtle journey through sound that had me absolutely hooked from the outset. There are no obvious comparisons here for me (although I admit that one of the pieces sounds remarkably close to one of my own tracks which is a bit of a coincidence) and it seems to have a life all of its own.

Mournful, yet joyous, moody, yet buoyant, meandering yet tightly focused… Porzellan delivers all of these elements into a splendid package that comes with a hearty recommendation.

Bvdub – We Were The Sun – Quietus Recordings

Posted in Reviews: Electronic by remotethoughts on October 3, 2009

Bvdub - We Were The Sun - Quietus CDr

Artist: Bvdub

Title: We Were The Sun

Label: Quietus Recordings

Cat No.: QUIETUS006

Format: CDr – Edition of 300 hand numbered copies

I honestly never realised two and a half years ago how much grief Brock Van Wey was going to cause me. Quite apart from using up days and weeks of my life listening to his music I’ve also discovered the Remote_ Book Of Superlatives (registered trademark) has now been well and truly run dry – purely from describing his releases. So, I’m in a quandary about reviewing this utterly ravishing new album from the man. I mean, you all know that I genuinely love the music I receive and I know that sometimes it seems like I go overboard on things. But believe me when I say that this is what keeps me going – the music is, ultimately, what it’s all about and this release is a 100% prime example of why after all these years I’m still so excited about my beloved electronica.

Following two absolutely monumental releases (namely To Live and White Clouds) Bvdub now brings us what I consider to be yet another crowning achievement in his already incredible catalogue of music. We Were The Sun is, simply put, an album of such grace and beauty that words really won’t do it justice and neither will the samples. You have to experience the flow of this for yourself to see exactly what I mean. As he’s matured musically his tendency towards the ambient has grown ever stronger and as that move towards beatlessness and atmosphere has progressed he’s moved ever further away from what you could traditionally consider to be ‘electronica’. This is more proof of the fact that he just has a natural talent for putting together achingly emotional music without pandering to anyone at any time. It’s on his own terms and, you know what? That’s why it’s so fine. I said when I first heard it that I’d break it down and give him my thoughts, but after a days solid listening I found that it would be absolutely redundant to try to make any sense of the tracks individually. Similarly, it’s pointless me telling you exactly what each track sounds like because that’s just not how it works.

I could, I suppose, tell you about the stunning drop halfway through the first track when a Rhodes piano chord comes in and the pads flow out of the mix before drifting back in. I could go on at length, I’m sure, about the final track – an immaculate acoustic guitar based track with such a heartfelt and refined sense of intimacy that it had me reaching for the rewind button again and again. And I’m pretty sure that I could spend about an hour and half describing the tracks that come in between. But you don’t really need to know all that – you just need to put it on some headphones, sit back, breathe deeply and allow it to carry you away.

You all know I’m a huge fan and I know that a lot of you are also huge fans. And rightly so as this man deserves all the love and plaudits he gets. Do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy of this because, at the end of the day, it’s just an immense piece of work from one of the finest producers to have emerged in the last few years. Bravo, sir.

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