Yagya :: The Rhythm of Snow (Force Inc.)
Upon hearing the first few bars of “Snowflake 05”, I was sold.
But then I listened the rest of this incredibly deep, almost
haunting affair…and became simply hynotized. As with any
slow winter dusting on a gray Saturday morning, The Rhythm
of Snow unfolds methodically, cohesively with each new
‘Snowflake’. In fact, it may present itself in such a cohesive
manner that it might be construed one track or even a ’76:14′
for the 2K2. But a purely “ambient” experience this is not!
Taking equal parts Chain Reaction (Berlin’s techno de force),
Biosphere (Norway’s atmospheric grand puba), Global Comm.
(England’s ambient hook maestros), and Karaoke Kalk (Cologne’s
noodley melody makers) — Yagya has come through with a (dare I
say) phenomenal record. Maybe it’s the subtle, uninvasive
approach that tingles my imagination. Maybe it’s the fact
that this record hails from Iceland — combining some of
the more reputable ambient/dub sounds from Germany, Norway,
and the UK. Maybe it’s the fact that this record works so
well for the foggy grayness of San Francisco’s late winter
(of which we’re uncovering from ever so slowly). Regardless
of why, this is one of my favorite records of the year thus
far and is going to be tough to knock out of position come
another gray December.
Ozy :: Tokei (Force Inc.)
Pure Force yet again. And more Iceland, for that matter!
The second LP in a row for the label is also an Icelandic
native. This time, a step forward in all directions. Of
course, in 2002 it’s quite common to flex your multi-genre
muscles in one album. (Astralwerks may make that a requirement
at this stage, really.) But it’s another thing to make a
genre-busting album cohesive (there’s that word again). And
even then, it is still another thing to start bending genres.
Intelligently! Ozy has succeed in all departments that are
hitting some crucial strides right now: minimal/pure/dub
techno, dubby/glitchy/subtle house, tech/progressive (track 9
is just pure trance…trance!?), and ambient/Jens-Massel-ian
softnoise murmerings. Every track: a bit repetitive, a lot
hypnotic, and flat-out brilliant all the same. I am thoroughly
impressed, will recommend it to anyone who likes electronic
music, and want more like it — is that too much to ask?