Thursday, February 11, 2010

Home (Normal) Invasion: Pt. 1 Konntinent

This morning, the mailman stuffed a package from the UK into my mail slot, which means usually one of two things: BoomKat order or goodies from the lovely folks at Home Normal. As I ripped open the package, I was delighted with a slew of new Home Normal releases. The first disc I popped in was Opal Island by Konntinent. All I can say so far is that this Taylor Deupree produced album has a wonderful mix of elements that recall Radiohead, Jacaszek and even BJ Nilsen, all wrapped up in some Wild At Heart aesthetic. While it appears to be an album of highly emotional, and emotive, compositions, there is an immediate sense of brooding mixed in. Anthony Harrison (Konntinent) concocts a style that is much glitchier than Helios, but not driven by overly thumping rhythms like much of the 4/4 glitch and techno worlds.

More to come.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nest: Retold

Lately, I'm falling further and further down the rabbit hole into a staggering world of Neo-Classical and Ambient music. On a more traditional, yet still groundbreaking side of things, Danny Norbury plays the role of Dr. Dave Bowman to my black little heart's HAL 9000, yanking the heart strings out slowly with each bow of his cello. On the other side, lurking from the deepest recessions of the shadows, are artists like BJ Nilsen, Machinefabriek and Black to Comm re-programming circuits of the most tenebrous reaches of the human psyche. Now Otto Totland (Svarte Greiner's lesser known half of Deaf Center) and Huw Roberts combine their wonder-twin powers to activate the nearly loathsome luminescence that is Nest. Totland's piano takes center stage for much of Retold, but could not stand alone without the magnificent and creepy field recordings and electronics of Roberts doing. The reason I'm striving to employ so many dark descriptors here is to offset my usual propensity for romanticized language when it comes to music. And I am mostly doing this, because I don't feel a lot of 'lost-love melancholy' with this album; yes, there is sadness, but it seems more of a sadness from voluntary isolation in the cold. There is beauty aplenty on this record, but it has a bit of a sinister feel to it, as if you were being told how the motifs in your funeral march were to sound before your death could inspire the composer. I strongly recommend this album!

Score: 8/10