Friday 3. 12.
From his work in electronic pop quartet Bloodgroup, to his output as one-half of Faroese- Icelandic duo Kiasmos, alongside Ólafur Arnalds,
Janus Rasmussen knows a thing or two about crafting nuance and restraint. Released via Christian Löffler's Ki Records, Rasmussen’s solo debut album, Vín, marks a new leap into uncharted territory. It’s a record that finds the producer delving deep to reveal the full scope of his talents. “I often work really quickly and I tend to be drawn to really strange ideas. I have this kind of obsession of finding something that really should not work and make it work. It’s very satisfying.”
As a whole, Vín is a solo debut that certainly “works”. Recorded in his Reykjavik studio, it’s full testament to Rasmussen following his creative instincts in order to make a record that luminously explores new sound-worlds within the realm of experimental minimal techno. Whether you look to the balmy downtempo groove of Wisp, the understated bliss of Lilla or the insistent rhythms that make December a fitting curtain call, Vín has a range that peaks and lulls in all the right places.
Aparde’s new album, Alliance sees the German musician retreat from his recent experimentations with avant-gard pop music back into the world of deep, and oftentimes dark, electronica. For his previous album, Hands Rest, Aparde ventured outside Berlin’s club scene through the use of his voice, which gave his music a softer and more intimate edge. Alliance is no less intimate, except this time the musician’s vulnerability seeps through the cracks rather than taking center stage. As impressive sonically as it is technically, Aparde used a mixture of electronic sounds, analogue equipment and his own voice either as a sound element or lyrical component to explore this duality of sound.
“This album was about focusing on something that calmed me down and brought me away from reality,” says Aparde. When the musician says ‘away from reality’, he doesn’t mean into dreamy, ethereal soundscapes, but rather a deep dive into dystopian atmospheres of drone sounds and chewed-up drum machines. Alliance’s second track, Allies has a dire beginning and one might even be tempted in skipping it if it weren’t for Aparde’s hushed voice shining through the shadows, melancholic yes, but also warm. Despite the album’s focus on electronic gear the music isn’t exactly dance-able, tracks have a ruminative pace,
brooding even, “I wanted to make the tracks with more breathing space between the atmosphere and silence. There are fewer elements but more impact, I think,” says Aparde.