Downbeat grooves tread over upbeat rhythms, shadows lurk in broad daylight, and all that can be seen in the distance is a faint reminder that everything’s going to be okay.
[Release page] While everyone awaits a new release from the Boards Of Canada (The Campfire Headphase is pushing on 6-years of age), most people have been getting a quick-fix via the friendly folks at Twoism.org or perhaps teasing their ears with the nostalgic sounds of Ten & Tracer, Milieu and even Skytree. These musicians gravitate towards unearthing a spark in electronics melding handfuls of melodic notes rolled up in contagious times gone by. All the above doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a particular mass of creativity falling from the edges as they carve their own niche in this bubble of electrical conduits and blurred audio sculptures.
Michael Mancuso’s Esselfortium moniker is a combination of genre’s crossing paths in the most sincerest of forms. Blending crisp beats, saturated melodies, and several layers of emotional baggage, Seventeen More Times is choke full of bits, bytes and bleeps that take over the senses. Downbeat grooves tread over upbeat rhythms, shadows lurk in broad daylight, and all that can be seen in the distance is a faint reminder that everything’s going to be okay. Drum and bass, ambient, IDM, chill and experimental waveforms bounce around each other like marbles in a glass dome.
Though it may be difficult not to find a gem in the roughened passages etched on this sixteen tracker, this assortment of styles may lead to touches of criticism. Marred perhaps by its attempt to dump everything into one album, many tracks lead a life of their own, spawning new branches along the way. But even with this plausible perspective, Esselfortium locks it all into action from start to finish and delivers a new shade of electronics for this decade. Yes, he’s dropped his entire skill-set in one basket, but can you discredit him for doing so? While others wait for the Boards Of Canada, maybe it’s time to dive into Esselfortium’s diverse sound channels. “Andante,” alone, should be reason enough to seek out this unusually attractive collection of varied electronics. Beauty, creation, peace, destruction, pollution and chaos are all on the radar screen as Seventeen More Times displays a panoramic view worth peering into.