Valravn – RE-COD3D

Valravn’s electro-folk RE-COD3D consists mostly of remixed and repurposed tracks from their most recent full length Koder På Snor. Koder, RE-COD3D.

One mystery of this album is how a band like Omnia, who seem to belong at folk festivals and nowhere else, could come up with such a beautiful remix of the track Kroppar.

My best answer is that it’s kind of like phenomenon of musicians leaving great bands to make failed solo albums. Individuals can’t always bring the breadth of personality to an album that naturally comes from iterating off the work of other people. So let Omnia rake over material as rich with original character as this, and even they will draw out something so simultaneously soaring and human as their version of Kroppar turned out to be.

It helps to have a front-woman like Anna Katrin Egilstrød, who is equal parts Bjork and Carla Kihlstedt. When she’s on, which is always, her voice spreads irresistible zest into every distorted warble, bleep, buzz or synth note in earshot.

The beats are sometimes defiantly simple, deeply possessed of a strange mixture of contentment and quirk. Seersken plods along for long periods with its trashily upbeat drums and drunken wanderings of distorted flute that sounds as if it were spewing out lovely, spoiled fruit. Each track provides breathing space for its ideas to meander and expand into their glorious, catchy weirdness. I could listen to this all day.

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Nuggies – Heavy Hit

Nuggies Heavy Hit:

What an awful band name. This what a band who tours with the Kotton Mouth Kings should call themselves. Instead this Vermont based group is an Avant-garde IMD band. Awesome. The only real joy to be found on this two track EP is when the band is heard laughing and giggling during the 7 minutes jam “Heavy Hit.” The band just jams badly for seven minutes and calls it a song. Then they follow it up with song on bleeps and bloops, which is just annoying. The whole thing is just a waste of ten minutes.

Benn Jordan-Pale Blue Dot

Benn Jordan Pale Blue Dot:

Dedicated to astronomer Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot is a trance inducing  album well suited to thinking about the universe, and your place in it. Significantly more ambient than most of Jordan’s output, his arrangements contain less of the hyper-edited drum parts, and flashy soloing often found in material released under Jordan’s various pseudonyms.  Jordan’s knack for writing beautiful melodies and crafting elegant synthesizer sounds take the forefront on this release. Overall the mood is contemplative, encouraging a state of mind in which you deal with the big questions, rather than many ambient releases which tend to induce a state of relaxation. The music also evokes the same state of wonder as looking up at the stars as a kid or watching one of those Discovery Channel specials about super novas.  As with most of his releases this album explores a lot of interesting territory and uses electronic music to evoke real human emotion in a way that few others can.

Lithops-Ye Viols!

Lihops Ye Viols!:

An interesting variety of electronic music, ranging from minimalist influenced works, to near sound collages. Overall a decent listen, but some of the keyboard tones could complement the compositions better, if they were a little less harsh.

Rating: 11/15 Bloops and Loops