Finnish/Brooklyn-ish producer Albert Swarm has returned with the a new track titled “The Sea That Calls All Things Unto Her.” AS recorded this track at the same time as he was crafting his last release, the Held EP. It’s interesting to speculate as to why this track went unreleased then, though it can’t have anything to do with its quality, but we’re certainly glad it’s here now. At first, the aquatic gurgling that begins the track masks the deeper rumblings beneath its surface. These pieces slowly emerge to form slow moving drifts of synth tones, marshaled along by the martial sway of the steady drums. The build is slow and steady, until the first beat breaks halfway through the track, which allows the melodic elements to take a firmer hold. Suggested uses include: a substitute for the opening minutes [the part before the super evil T-Rex] of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” segment in Disney’s Fantasia, a soundtrack for watching jellyfish at your local aquarium, or just good old fashioned chilling out.
Watch for a new release from Albert Swarm on Ceremony in the coming months
Written by Luke Carrell
The Mainz, Germany-based tape label Sicsic has been giving us cause to prick up our ears for a while now, having released music by artists such as Panabrite, Innercity, and the recent Congos-collaborator, M. Geddes Gengras. They have a variety of interesting material due out soon, but this forthcoming tape is a particularly intriguing prospect. Described only as an “obscure Finnish duo” and presumably named after the Long-eared Owl, Asio Otus have apparently created a “concept album about UFO sightings in the early 70s in a small town called Pudasjärvi” – events which you can read a bit more about here. To these ears, the intense and driving first section of this excerpt sounds more like the aliens have actually landed and are marching upon mankind in a most ominous fashion, while the shimmering synth haze and Harmonia-esque drum machine of the second part definitely suggests bewitching light phenomena in the northern night skies.
Taivaallisia Tulia will be released February 12th on SicSic Tapes
Written by Christopher Greenberg
Working at the brighter, gentler end of the lo-fi spectrum, this track from Finland’s Ous Mal crackles and writhes in all the right ways. It appears on one of the final releases from the young Olli Aarni under his most familiar moniker, a split cassette with Russia’s Bedroom Bear on the fantastic Full Of Nothing label.
Aarni’s sample-based tracks may use a production method similar to that of hip-hop, with cut up vinyl, cassette and radio samples jammed together to form a new whole, but the result mixes spaced-out drone with an intimate, folky warmth. As with all of Ous Mal’s music, everything is happening under the surface or behind a thin veil. Single piano notes ring out in the mist, disconnected from the the bed of beautiful noise. Sounds are reversed and a tiny beat creeps in, just loud enough to sweep you along with it for a minute. There is no rush. Just wait and listen to it unfold.
With a new album due in February under the name Nuojuvo, there’s plenty to look forward from this particular Fin.
Full of Nothing is reportedly planning a reissue of the Bedroom Bear/Ous Mal split tape. Valot kaukaa is now available for pre-order from Preservation. And be sure to watch Olli Aarni’s Tumblr for more news
Written by Ian Maleney
The enigmatic music making entity known as Albert Swarm hails from Brooklyn via northern Finland, and that’s about all the bio you’re going to get out of this guy. That’s just fine, too. As much as we love a good narrative to go along with our freshly baked sound waves, we also appreciate when the music stands on its own, as does AS’ “Familialities,” a more minimalist take on the dangerously deep sample-scapes of Holy Other or Balam Acab. Delayed arrays of lightly plucked strings and chimes contribute a feeling of whimsy, before collapsing into place around bottom-heavy drums and soulful vocal samples that seem all the more affecting for their being so inarticulate and ripped away from any context. Raw bits of filter hiss, temperamental sample manipulations, and plenty of other subtleties might escape a first listen, so good thing that you’re going to have this track on heavy rotation anyway.
Albert Swarm’s Held EP will be available from Ceremony on August 23, 2011
Written by Luke Carrell
Finnish duo Shine 2009’s self-released Associates EP transplants the Balearic dance music that once ruled Europe with a glow stick bracelet laden fist into more subdued pop soil. Falling somewhere between Pet Shop Boys and The Tough Alliance, it’s the sort of carefully arranged and produced pop music that seems to breed near the Arctic Circle. Taking wistful vocals, a swung out beat, and melodic leads straight out of 1992, “Higher” is cough syrup sweet and robotrip spacey stuff equally fit for both the chill out room of your favorite neighborhood mega club or coffee house. It’s playful and quirky, but keeps a straight face, leaving you to sort out for yourself exactly how much irony is going on, if any.
Written by Luke Carrell