Reviewed this week
Norway's Geir Jenssen is one of ambient's true pioneers. A man who has done nothing but good to the scene, stretching its boundaries across different sounds and harmonic landscapes since the early 90s. He's so renowned, in fact, that even his albums from the post 00's era are worthy of represses, such as this 2002 outing on London's Touch, the solitary and immersive Shenzhou. It is an impossible task to condense its freeform structures into words, a wide-eyed horizon that blends field recordings and reverb-laden pools of sonics into neatly executed frameworks. Rich with drama and suspense, it glides elegantly from beginning to end. This is all about feeling and mood - it's what Biosphere thrives in. If there was ever a runner up to Vangelis for the Blade Runner, we'd have chosen this guy.
Following up a pair of great collaborative albums by Suzanne Kraft - with the Antinote affiliated D.K. last month and the wonderful Passive Aggressive LP with label boss Jonny Nash, Melody As Truth now present Danish producer Palta. Probably most known to people under his real name Natal Zaks, he also creates music as Aebeloe and as Central - the latter has seen him release on tastemaker labels such as Dekmantel. With his debut release for the label, entitled 'Universel', Palta was best described as a sound painter, of sorts. That talent is on display again here on this new EP. From the tripped out tribal tropicalism of "Tabt Optagelse", the cavernous free fall of "Pa Gensyn" to the the 10 minutes of complete and utter bliss that is "Optagelse 16A" which is a highly detailed and evocative journey into the soul that will have you craving for more.
Diggers everywhere rejoiced when Echovolt Records boss Ilias Pitsios and celebrated selector Tako Reyenga of Redlight Records fame got together to form Into The Light, with their inaugural compilation of Greek Electronic Music, Classics & Rarities a sublime introduction to a world of lesser known musical excellence. Into the Light return with an eagerly awaited second release that narrows the focus to Vangelis Katsoulis, a man daubed the 'king of Greek electronics'. The Athens born Katsoulis was one of the artists featured on that 2012 compilation and remains active today across numerous disciplines. As the full title alludes, The Sleeping Beauties focuses on the late '80s period when Katsoulis was beginning to increasingly incorporate electronics in his compositions, with material from his Tchaikovsky riffing 1988 album The Slipping Beauties featuring on the collection along with four unreleased works, two of which Katsoulis recorded last year. Fans of poignant electronics should check this!
The latest release from Into The Light demonstrates once again few can match Tako Reyenga of Redlight Records fame and his Echovolt counterpart Ilias Pitsios when it comes showcasing the sublime musical pioneers of '70s and '80s Greece. Much like last year's Vangelis Katsoulis retrospective, the focus of the latest Into The Light release falls on another artist to feature on their classic debut compilation in the shape of George Theodorakis. Son of Mikis, the legendary composer responsible for scoring Zorba The Greek and Serpico, Theodorakis issued only a limited amount of music over a 20 year period, but was known for his intense studio habits which resulted in a vast archive of unreleased material. Much of that features on The Rules of the Game: Original Studio Recordings (1978-1995), with the 16 tracks rolling deeper into the new age synthesizer vibe of the two Theodorakis compositions that featured on the label's debut compilation.