Jun 072015
 

Another Fine Day - A Good Place to Be (Remixes)

This new EP of remixes from Interchill’s company of downtempo talents is full of beauty, an enjoyable ride through ambient and rhythmic interpretations of the well-received original release. Every single track here is a keeper.

1. And Dream of Seals (Alucidnation Remix) – Lush piano intro calls softly to have a listen as more varied sounds are introduced. Bass line and soft percussion merge perfectly with piano, beginning a hint of a journey toward dub. As percussion and bass disappear, we are submerged into a bubbly dubbly soundscape, ever wending its way through like a droplet of water falling through leaves on a tree.

2. And Dream of Seals (Another Fine Day Chaos Theory Remix) – Forestlike sounds greet our ears before the piano, beautifully stuttered, begins its tale. Right on cue, the rhythm begins. By the time the tabla and mild glitch appear, a theme has been set and we are on a gentle, wandering tour through staccato percussiveness, all the while the thread of the xylophonic melody keeping us on track. The track slowly, very slowly, makes its way to silence, never losing its itinerary.

3. And Dream of Seals (Ishq remix) – A prayer in sonic form which allows our brains and ears a narrative while offering plenty of space for exploration. As with other remixes in this collection, the piano is an integral part of the story, introduced almost immediately and remaining present like a buoy in the sea. At just under 9 minutes, this remix has the time and space to define itself. While the progression toward the center – where the crux lives – rolls along slowly, it is also as sure as the sky is blue. When the bass appears, it wraps up the elements nicely. These sounds play well together. The latter third of the track withdraws most forms of rhythm from before, yet remains familiar to us; a natural completion to a beautiful journey.

4. Spanish Blues (Greg Hunter Remix) – The strings of a Greg Hunter track are a welcome signature, an announcement that the world is at our door, ready to tell a dubby tale. The structure is set up almost immediately, and so the framework allows us to move to the rhythm while still maintaining a spacious vibe in our brains. This kind of rhythm can be interpreted with movement of the body or simply in the mind, making it a versatile accompaniment for a wide spectrum of activities one might do while listening. Keep this one close at hand.

5. Spanish Blues (Hibernation) – Smoky jazzy orchestral sounds make the initial case for this interpretation, but when the dance begins, you might not want to remain seated (if you even were to begin with). I found some part of my body wanted to be moving with the rhythm of this the entire track, and yet the slightly jazzy psychill environment kept my brain occupied with the perfect blend that Seb Taylor (Hibernation) is known for. The center of the track glides gracefully into a film soundtrack feel, the jazz and trippy accents singing in harmony. There is a good reason why Seb’s music is so central to my listening and DJing playlists – his expressions just simply resonate with my aesthetic so succinctly that it’s like welcoming an old friend in for a cup of tea (and often a dance).

Nov 292014
 

I was invited recently to give feedback on the latest comp release from Interchill, one of my favorite labels for choice downtempo. It’s a real winner in my book, so I wanted to share my thoughts here and encourage you to check this out for yourself.

With a comp like this, this is where Interchill and I see eye to eye.  Andrew Ross Collins has come up with a treat for the senses, with an ode to the more melodic side of chill and downtempo, while still maintaining an edge with elements of glitch and bold rhythms. The way I felt when I’d finished listening to Waypoint reminds me of the aftermath of listening to Interchill’s comp releases from a decade ago, which is to say feeling thoroughly satisfied with the journey. Due to the way I tend to process music for review and consideration into my permanent library, I hardly ever tend to listen to a release all together in sequence, but this one works quite well for that. A wonderful compilation, assembled in a defining flow that just works.

Interchill's Latest Compilation

Interchill’s Latest Compilation

01. Grouch – Indifference (Hibernation Remix)

My ears lit up with the last collaboration between these two talents (Grouch remixing  Kaya Project, another of Seb Taylor’s artist projects) and once again I’m digging the melding of their two sounds. Both artists are laser-precise in their mastery of sound manipulation and design, which ensures that even though there’s a lot going on in the track, it never tips over into a crowded soundscape.

02. Drift – Invisible Spirit

Overtones of bossanova start things off and then are switched up by a glitchier palette. It’s a mixture that doesn’t always blend well together for my tastes, but the track weaves back and forth between the two palettes and eventually the more classical palette wins out, which is a win in my book. (Not that I have anything against the glitchy palette – just that it can be challenging to blend it well with more classic sounds and phrasing)

03. Guru Shishya – Rich in Loss

It’s been many years since a new Guru Shishya track has graced my speakers, and I quite liked the one from 9 years ago, Cagian 3 (also released by Interchill). I’m not sure what this artist has been up to in the ensuing time period, but I’m very happy that a new track is upon us. Beautiful acoustic guitar with whispers of angelic voices singing, and an acoustic drum accompaniment that feels like it would be a treat to see this one performed live. A heart-melter for sure.

04. Gaudi – Solaris Vision

Gaudi is one of the most authentic dub-into-dubstep artists I know, remaining entrenched in the crossover between the genres. His sound design is unparalleled. The genre itself is one I can only listen to small amounts of at a time, as I find it all a little too similar; Gaudi’s composition here, however, creates a soundscape that is hypnotic and delivers through to the end.

05. Kaya Project – Dust Devil (Hibernation Remix)

Seb Taylor has a permanent place at my musical table, let me just get that out of the way. Of all his projects, I started out loving him as Kaya Project and then found Hibernation, the perfect mixture of fresh modern sound design and classical, jazzy tones. So a remix of one by the other was bound to perk up my ears. The rhythm here is hypnotic, the sounds varied, and it all blends together into something quite wonderful.

06. Variant Field – Dulcet Dalliance

Wonderful catchy rhythm and sound design from one of my favorite artists, Amani Friend, with his co-creator Alex DeYoung. I’ve previously only known Amani’s work with Treavor Moontribe as Desert Dwellers, and while there are definitive markers in this track to alert you to Amani’s same sensibilities, there is a devotion to a more cinematic, jazzy spectrum that I find irresistible. It’s the kind of track that sounds at home in either a jazzy/loungy playlist or a more modern one.

07. Another Fine Day – Walk Tall (Throwback Dub)

Wonderful, sultry jazz tones with swirls of psychedelia, perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon.

08. Austero – Fuerza Brutal

Lovely mix of electronic and acoustic elements. The bass line is prominently the backbone of the track, and yet somehow doesn’t manage to oversaturate it. Skilled guitar work by Austero.

09. Fredrik Ohr – In Orbit

I was a fan of Ohr’s early eponymous release and have tracked his evolution ever since. As it is with almost any artist and me, not everything hits the nail on the head, but In Orbit is definitely a keeper in my book. It has a laidback rhythm that is only suggested at throughout the first half of the track, but the musicality and the hints of bleepy accents are enough to carry it through, when the rhythm fully reveals itself and drives it home.

10. Liquid Stranger – Flipside

I love it when Liquid Stranger ventures far into the realm of emotion with his unique brand of soundscape. It rarely disappoints, and this track is a wonderful expression of that emotion. It manages to be spacious and cozy all at the same time. I see Flipside being a trusty companion for those delicious afternoons in the desert.

11. Sinepearl – Cosmic Center

I was deeply touched by the release earlier this year of Cycles Within Cycles Within, as it came to my inbox just as I was learning of the death of a dear friend’s family member. While that release was gorgeous in a more ambient way, this track retains much of that lush sensibility while inhabiting more of a rhythmic space. I have not yet been disappointed by what I’ve heard coming out of his studio.

12. Spiral System – Mondays

I was a fan of last year’s release Be, so I looked forward to hearing this new track, and I was not disappointed. A gentle rhythm that invites swaying with eyes closed, delicate vocals with a touch of psychedelia, and a gorgeous melody welcome you in to the world of this track. Salve for the soul.

13. Alucidnation – Prefer to Stay In

Lush, pastoral ambience with just a hint of beats. The piano lends a delicate narrative. A perfect end to the Waypoint journey.

Waypoint can be reviewed and purchased at the following places:

BandcampBeatportAmazoniTunesJuno

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