Review: Icelandic label Lahar debuts with this highly impressive release from NonniMal, who was previously spotted dropping the classy 'Freyja' 12' on AE Recordings back in 2016. Sound design is the order of the day on 'Eitt' as a beautifully rendered set of percussive bell notes chime around a minimal rhythm section - a piece pointedly geared towards transcendence. 'Tvo' has an intriguing slant to its groove, as the sharply oscillating synth wobble juts out against the grain of the drums. 'Thrju' takes things in a bleak but captivating direction, while 'Fjogur' cools the record down in a cloud of blissful, frostbitten ambience.
Review: As Icelandic techno receives recognition like never before, so NonniMal steps up to AE Recordings with a fine EP that sports many of the hallmarks of this particular corner of Scandinavian culture. There's a spacious, dubby minimalism that pervades throughout Freyja, but what really sets the EP apart is the considered deployment of found sounds, heavily processed and sticking out in the mix to inject some unpredictable energy into these largely calm oceans of rhythmic hypnosis. Even without such decoration the music is exemplary, as on the haunting lilt of the title track with its subtly shifting pads tuned to the emotional maximum.