Esem :: Scateren (Kahvi, MP3) **Re-mastered Feb-2016

News: This album has just been re-mastered and re-released.

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1143 image 1(10.14.05) Georgi Marinov has created the best sort of music: free stuff offered over the Internet and the only request he has of us (other than listening to and talking nicely about Scateren of course) is that we send him a postcard. Now, I realize that postcards don’t taste good in milk nor do they offer much in the way of nutritional value, but as offers of appreciation to those who have moved you, they are a simple and elegant way to speak your mind and show your love.  There are two important things you need to know about Scateren: where to find the record and where to send the postcards.

  • The music :: www.kahvi.org
  • The postcards :: G Marinov, Izgrev 8-3-3, 8008 Burgas, Bulgaria

The rest of this review is just me making happy noises about the record for those who need convincing. If you don’t need arm twisting: hit the link, get the record, download it to your MP3 player and go cruise the postcard racks while you listen to it. Otherwise…

Scateren opens with “B~ckbook,” a clattering brook of electronic percussion that tumbles down from indistinct places where an elusive melody sings. It’s a persuasive rattle against your speakers, a babbling rhythm that starts a flood of electronics. “Dispehrse” soars with piano, delicate keys flying over a gentle landscape of synth pads and tripping percussion while “Spider Boat Fisherman Loudspeaker Flash” is more restrained, an IDM shuffle around the dance floor while you clasp an ice princess to your chest and feel her chilly breath in your ear. (The title? At least it is recognizable words, instead of just random characters, all whack IDM-stylee.)

Lackluster contributes to “Aatu/USSN,” a collaboration that sings with Esa Ruoho’s deft touch of atmospherics. A combination of submarine music (the bleeps that rise out of the whirling mix and the submerged rumble of the bass drum) and cold winter rhythms, “Aatu/USSN” is both warm and cold, hard and soft, light and heavy. It’s the best sort of collaborative work—a track that takes you somewhere different every time you listen to it. “All This Empty Space Does My Head In” is lush textures, filled with gorgeous tones, tiny micro-notes, echoing rimshots and the sort of slowly evolving melody that unravels forever. This one is space music for the navel gazer in all of us (with just a wee bit of pop-pop static masquerading as beats). “A Sound of Halo” introduces strings and a harp to the beat-jagged landscape, evoking pastoral visions.

On his website, Marinov lists the generative reasons for the tracks and they all speak of an impulsive moment. Whether it be melancholy, desire, fear, love, distrust or just longing for something that is unexplained and absent, over the last three years Marinov has put these emotional touches to music and made tracks like “Legho (Send Someone Off To Their Dreams),” a illusionary track of light melodies and skipping beats that passes like gossamer strands of dreamstuff, like handfuls of mist that you want to grab but can’t manage to hold onto. Marinov’s music is elusive because it touches you and then vanishes as you try to examine what it has done to your brain. “Legho” echoes with both loneliness and hope and makes me miss all those who are dear and absent. And such reactions aren’t restricted to “Legho.” Scateren will wash you. Stop reading. Go listen.

Scateren is available on Kahvi.org.

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