Short Circuits 16 - By Volume

I'm afraid of heaven because I can't stand the height. I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind. St. Vincent - Regret
toddterje

Short Circuits 16

Todd Terje prepares us for his album release rapture and Even Tuell tries to bring about spring, Things get terrestrial in this edition of Short Circuits. Author: on February 25, 2014
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Even Tuell - Precious Cloud (Latency, 2014)

Winter just doesn’t seem to be on its way out, and thankfully there are people like Even Tuell to remind us that a new season of new life and new beginnings is inbound. Almost in spite of the accompanying video’s tonal aesthetic and overdubbed thunder claps, there’s something optimistically hilly and green-grassed about the bright chords rounding off every second bar as well as the licks pollinated in-between. Landing on young Parisian upstart Latency Recordings, the Workshop Records co-pilot takes the opportunity to express a little more wide-eyed indulgence than usual, with a smattering of strings sweeping over a beatless breakdown. The minimal bassline leaves room for percussion cues that recall train carriages passing by on a track that prompts listeners to simply look on and admire outside of losing themselves.

Todd TerjeDelorean Dynamite (Olsen, 2014)

Todd Terje’s music is the kind of wonderful, improbable and incomprehensibly delicious phenomenon that could only have come from Scandinavia. His arrangements of electro-disco melodies sprawl loosely and effortlessly to eventually win listeners over, particularly on “Delorean Dynamite” with its puppy-eyed guitar funk and synth montage. If “Delorean Dynamite” is anything, it’s a theme tune for Terje’s album that hits with plenty of intent aside from all the fun, sequenced in different movements that delight in their own way: whether it’s a Michael Jackson-esque shuffle or a hazy epilogue of drunken arpeggios, Terje’s style is one that gratifies. It’s Album Time, and we’d better be ready for it.

Tessela/LoefahHackney Veal (Soundbwoy Killah’s Back to 95 Mix) (unreleased, 2014)

No word on who Soundbwoy Killah is (yet), as he’s letting the music do the talking and waiting for the rest of us to get the message. Evidently he’s into the UK scene, snatching the the power vocals and albatross bass from Loefah’s lethargic “Veal”, and pitting them against breaks, cues and that sample from Tessela’s infamous 2013 ruckus “Hackney Parrot”. He does away with the sweepers from the original, refining it into a more raw, throwback cut with a circulation of bass that harkens back to The Ganja Kru. Those all-lungs vocals and the stumble of the break-beat throw it into ghetto house grounds, getting as rowdy as it can without ever actually losing control. Just waiting for this one to make its way into the world proper and hear it on a system, really.

Trances4/5 (Hivern Discs, 2014)

Trances is actually the name of a piece by Pablo Díaz-Reixa, done under his club-oriented El Guincho moniker, originally surfacing in 2013. Two tracks are getting the vinyl treatment, landing fittingly on John Talabot’s Barcelona-based Hivern Discs label. Trances “4” and “5” appear in reverse order on the original mix still stream-able at tranc.es, and regardless of the videos’ labels, both tracks are serious. “4” is a celebration of stuttering percussion with Spanish vocals chopped and sprinkled over the top in a propulsive house affair. An explosion of keys chime in and ring throughout the climax in what becomes a decidedly heavier track as it progresses. It’s followed by “5” which is weighted more towards synth melodies, cushioned by unobtrusive drums. The track’s littered with samples of grunts more than any cohesive lyrics, like a dancefloor workout in a great hall where each motion has its echo.

Oni AyhunOAR003-B (Oni Ayhun, 2009)

This odyssey through exotic techno comes from an alias of The Knife’s Olof Dreijer, blissful and carefree in its wondrous journey of discovery. Released on Dreijer’s own label in 2009, it serves as a nice precursor to Pantha Du Prince’s 2010 tour de force Black Noise with its vivid, colourful strokes of sound. A large part of the piece consists of its huge build-up, which is perhaps superior to the full-blown ecstasy it propels into. Dreijer’s flickering synths are fulfilling in their own right, then dressed with tingling and playful melodies over the innately rhythmic beat without ever feeling too sweet. There aren’t many tracks above the ten-minute mark with as smooth a ‘learning curve’ as this, holding your hand as much as it leads on ahead. The breadcrumb trail of foreign sounds and snippets here and there are the land’s own ambience, welcoming the newly-initiated explorer with open arms. Dreijer’s music is all-encompassing, nurturing everything beneath the span of its wings.

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