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Axel Boman’s first album starts out softly, almost wispily. Undeniable jams await on the album’s second half, and it feels like the gradual introduction is a way of getting listeners to lean in and acquaint themselves with his unique production style. Boman prefers to falter, to let patterns taper off when you expect him to go for the jugular. When his samples bubble up into cohesion again, it’s uniquely effective because he’s sidestepped the obvious, strident impulse to crack listeners over the head with his choon stick. Family Vacation seems to chart a canny path that touches on the cozy, almost sleepy deep house of Hamburg’s Smallville label, DJ Koze’s all-embracing eclecticism, and Daphni’s fourth-world club music, but it’s unmistakably the work of a producer creating his own vision of house music from the inside out. The formal aspects of the music are just a jumping-off point for Boman, whose art-school background leaves a distinct stamp on Family Vacation — little here is a given.
“Can’t Find It” is the album’s introduction, a protean stew of decaying piano notes, the neon hum of a nervous string loop, and a wide assortment of incidental noises that Doppler their way across the stereo field just once. There’s lots of space within and between the sounds, as Boman revels in tones and arrangements that simulate the kind of natural acoustic space that’s uncommon even in sample-based house music. In between “Kings & Emperors”‘ featherweight patter of hand drums, though, there’s a slew of impulsive modular squeals, suggesting what a Dan Snaith record on Workshop might sound like. The synth never takes the main stage as it does in Daphni’s music, though. It’s content to provide the sparks in the rolling dust cloud of arrangements that aren’t afraid to flirt with formlessness. Indeed, the album’s most outward cut, “Hello,” trips more than it pounds, creating drama by going quieter and truncating samples at key moments, just as soon as we’ve learned to expect them.
Family Vacation is a different beast than Boman’s 12″s, and he clearly enjoys stumbling and slurring more than the briefer format allows. “Klinsmann,” from his Black Magic Boman EP, sounds like a total belter next to this album’s sketchy “Let’s Get Nervous,” which hardly lets its vocal sample complete a syllable among the synth interjections and roughly chopped drums. Where the first half of the album focuses on the amount of weird funk Boman can wring out of his sampler, the second half conveys his slightly twisted idea of pop, with tracks like “Barcelona” and “Bottoms Up” revolving around earworm-worthy melodies, with the drums providing somewhat straightforward support.
Family Vacation isn’t out to make a statement, and it goes about its business unassumingly enough. But the way the album’s strength derives from its flexibility — the way it whispers where others would shout, the way it’s happy to ignore the received wisdom about how dance tracks should sound or function — rather than straight-up, compressed force is worth considering for anyone who doubts that house music is lacking for innovation. If you don’t have a dog in the fight, it’s just wildly enjoyable for what it is.
The DJ writes about her experiences...Continue Reading >>
“Please note: this album is intended as a listening experience. This is not a “DJs tool”. This is not music for dancefloors, but music for hearts & minds….”
UK mystery maestro A Sagittariun produces with a purpose, a message, taking the craft to a more pensive and serious level for the bedroom listening universal dreamer. His bold approach to artistry is commendable, and his debut album on his own Elastic Dreams imprint will awaken your senses to something new.
“Crystallization” sees a fine collaboration with veteran guitarist Skip McDonald, creating a meditative gem that washes you in tranquility before leading you into a trance induced flow through the choppy waters of “V4641 Sgr.” The steadily climbing “Conquering Lions” fuses a break driven beat and dreamy essence for an organic feel while intensity is then lifted and dubbed out with “Seven Locks.”
“The South Node” picks up depth and momentum for an erratic journey and A Sagittariun keeps it deep through “Trine’s” celestial groove and preaches freedom with rhetorical prowess in “The Age of Sin.” Throwin’ it back for some acidic broken beats, “Year Of The Ox” slips distinctively down “The Mind Has No Time,” that pops like a cinematic bubble over the spiraling beauty of “Lucid Dream.” Closing out this astral journey, “Network Restoration” grounds you back on your feet after a crazy ride that lingers long after its conclusion.
Restless, open minded, jovial, spiritual – A Sagittariun embodies his astrological charm in this cosmic listening experience and I suggest you take the leap.
Purchase directly from the artist HERE!
“I think dreams make us want to cuddle in the morning…”
Also, check out the dream weaver’s recent, brooding mix for Hypercolour‘s Rinse FM show <3
Large as this planet is, it’s amazing how easily proponents of similar sounds seem to connect with one another. It’s tempting to attribute this phenomenon to the Internet. Really, though, it’s been happening since Underground Resistance first hooked up with the crew at Tresor, or Richie Hawtin met Speedy J. Cuttin, Samplin, Housin Part One, the sixth 12″ for Geography Records, sees the Malmö-based label stretching its reach further than ever before. All the way to Salerno, Italy, where Giovanni Damico runs his own White Rabbit Recordings. And clearly, there’s plenty of cross-over between the two hubs.
Damico has same sound nailed, one that’s equal parts playful, elegant, and energetic. As the title implies, it’s also heavily indebted to samples. “Girl, I’ll never stop lovin’ you,” croons “Fella on a Cloud,” among cascading chimes and tocking rimshots. Its masterful combination of complexity and balance — where nothing is overpowering anything else — feels reminiscent of Julius Steinhoff. Somewhat lopsided, the nimble bass and chords of “Atypical Noise” are similarly well-arranged. On the flip, Damico sounds more like Real Cool, perhaps Geography’s best signing to date. With its catchy “I’m not touching it!” refrain, “Glad You Here” is the record’s most obvious anthem, and reflects the duo’s joyous approach to production, especially with the sneaky acid line that shades out the background. Up last, the title track’s flabby drums foster a mellower groove, stark sax peals accenting various synths as they ebb and flow. It closes an impressively rounded EP from the Italian, one that is yet another worthy addition to Geography’s quality-over-quantity catalog. One can only guess what thrills Part Two will hold.