Blimey, it’s been ages since I’ve been here. Sorry about that. That stuff called life and the horrors of mismanaging a small tape label have been rearing their head but IKB has now been out a while, long enough in fact to have garnered a couple of reviews. The first, from the lovely Ears For Eyes blog that let me write some words about music I liked, actually dates back to March, but aside from a couple of links via Facebook and Twitter, hasn’t been posted/copied and pasted here. Til now.
‘IKB’ is the second release by Solvognen for Disco Insolence following a spilt-tape with Chaz Dolo last year. The full album treatment suits this artist, allowing them to display a variety of interesting sounds. ‘Vermillion’ has something of the all-surface sense-rush of Oneohtrix Point Never but with less of the plush plasticity, this is gnarlier and steam-driven; the arpeggios low-resolution and melted around the edges. ‘Wisteria’ contains a synthesised cello grinding amidst a glitch whiteout; Kosmiche hum and crunching fruitless modem scanning adding further grime to an already pixelated sound-space. ‘Aureolin’ has a placid soft tidal drift, barbed acid scribbles gambolling in the surf like poison-spined crustaceans. ‘Amber’ proceeds in martial fashion, snare rattles echoing into the distance. ‘Mauve’ burbles circularly like a pre-skronk section from a Colin Stetson track; a creeping bass riff lends a night-time air, wet streets and urban decay evoked in the crumbling song structure and strained grid-like precision.
Emotionally engaging, inventively arranged, atmospherically haunting; this second release for Jonathan Lee’s Disco Insolence label is an excellent addition to their fledgling catalogue.
Nice writing, isn’t it? If you don’t believe me the link is http://ears4eyes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/solvognen-ikb-disco-insolence.html
The second review was posted earlier today (hence my hasty posting today) and was written by Tristan Bath for the esteemed and read-a-lot Quietus site. Although the review contains no mention of Disco Insolence aside from the header, it hits the nail on the head by managing to include some of Solvognen’s influences (although I draw the line at Boreds Of Canada personally). Here, have a read for yourself.
This tape by Detroit resident, Solvognen (aka Daniel Llanes), is a beacon of truly delightful instrumental music from a city purportedly in a constant state of ebb. That town’s own history of bacchanal club music is all but absent from IKB‘s always pensive, often cinematic bedroom compositions. The beats are simplistic, lo-fi and low rent, and the music focuses on texture and tone, eschewing pinpoint precision in favour of broader musical strokes. The title track features a low-bitrate sample of chords bashed out behind a piano that gurgles and stutters a la Fennesz’s classic Endless Summer. ‘Amber’ harkens directly back to Boards of Canada’s earliest blend of beats and quivering atmospherics, while the bassy arpeggios at the heart of ‘Mauve’ evoke retro filmic darkness akin to Brad Fiedel’s enigmatic theme from Terminator, finally disintegrating into chaotic phasing fuzz. However, it’s ‘Wisteria’ that’s obviously stands out, putting to use mellotron VSTs to curl out a theme straight from the Klaus Schulze book of Kosmische. The leading synthetic cello meets a sea of synthetic strings for a harrowing mid-track peak that’s much more Irrlicht than Carl Craig. Though perhaps too often snatching from well established motifs in electronic music, the pervasive feeling of IKB is an uplifting one, and one that makes these six home-made miniatures from Solvognen worth hunting down.
Link for this (alongside some non-Disco Insolence releases which I’m sure are just as good) is http://thequietus.com/articles/15396-spools-out-tape-review
So, all in all a nice pair of reviews, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Oh, and the tapes are on their way, the artwork has been printed and delivered, the tapes are waiting on duplication and hopefully my daughter will leave me alone long enough this weekend to finish everything off.