(11.01.08) As part of their tenth anniversary celebrations, the Kahvi Collective has released Robot Dreams, a collection of tracks from their favourite artists exclusively available through digital outlets such as Beatport, iTunes and select others. Each track has been specially recorded for this compilation and sees a majority of the artists featured appearing on commercial digital music sites for the first time. Clocking in at just under an impressive 2 hours 16 minutes, Robot Dreams consists of 23 tracks ranging in length from 3 to over 12 minutes.
Mostly consisting of melodic, beat focused electronic music, things start gently with Italian artist Acrillic Colors’ piano based “Moon Kiss,” heading into dark crisp electronics with Abyssal Plains’ “Biome” before flooding the senses with the serene waves of radiating sound of “Robot Dreams” by Coax. Subtly covering quite a diverse range of styles whilst sustaining a consistent theme, Robot Dreams maintains a high quality standard of melodic electronics whilst showcasing the diversity of styles the label represents. Venturing into experimental electronic music territory is US artist Nedavine with “Being and Time,” a fusion of uneasy ambience and sharp glitchy rhythms. Heading down a darker edgier path is Atmogat’s “Termina Eve” with ethereal almost choral ambience underpinning steady glitched up beats. Preferring a more scientific route is Introspective with “Winds of Neptune,” a busy layered track with a classic synth sound and a retro futuristic theme. Aaron Jasinski changes the tone completely with “Angel Face,” starting out with musicbox style chimes and gradually deconstructing them, adding a slow bassy plodding beat as the track progresses. Audio Cephlon chooses a stabbing break over melancholic ambience for “Merge and Diverge” while MigloJE opts for gentle tones, brighter melodies and squeaky glitch effects with “Day After 44Hz” and Mosaik picks up on the theme with a deep elastic bassline, insectoid percussion and a futuristic sense of spaciousness for “Yoghurt.” Workbench’s “Ascent” picks up where “Yoghurt” left off and introduces a radiant sense of calm enhanced with cascading melodies and hints at a Jean Michel Jarre influence. Continuing the theme is Mikael Fyrek’s “Reduce to Silence” which is on one hand is warm and fluid but on the other is sharp edged, metallic and glitchy with a nervous sense of anxiety. Scann-Tec’s “Dolbo Job” takes things a step further by introducing a looped ambient drone under cut-up abstract glitch beat programming and adding some odd samples and other strange electronically created noises. Perhaps the best of this group of ambient tracks however is “Deep Silence” by Blackberry, a 12 minute piece opening with gentle birdsong, drifting tones and clean rhythmic beats that become sharper and slightly faster to form a shimmering break with a deep vibrating bassline and a catchy melody.
Taking things in an entirely different direction is “Foothold Herald’s Summit View” by KiloWatts which takes weird sounds and bouncy beats to create 12.5 minute hazy, drug-induced trip into psychedelic electronics. Returning to the mellower mood from earlier in the compilation, Bad Loop’s “Sometimes” mixes warm rounded beats with crisp metallic percussion and a discrete underlying layer of gently drifting ambient synth tones to add an air of calmness. Probably the best known name on the line-up, Finn Esa Ruoho contributes the appropriately titled 9.5 minute track “shimmeringedges” under his usual moniker of Lackluster. Typically, it is ambient with the promised shimmering rhythms, slick criss-crossing electronic meanderings and a touch of static for atmosphere. His contribution is both accomplished and completely unrushed, left to very slowly unfold and develop in its own time. Closing the compilation is Alexey V with his track “Tune Part II;” a huge rumbling, drifting mass of layered drones that builds and evolves over a 4 minute duration. A dark and foreboding close but at the same time a strangely absorbing and serene way to end the collection.
Robot Dreams is a lengthy compilation that generally focuses on the more ambient, melodic and rhythmic sides of electronic music but also fuses it with sharper, experimental aspects of the genre. Drawing on everything from noise to glitch to psychedelia and beyond, Robot Dreams brings something for fans of most forms of experimental electronic music whilst almost always maintaining at least a degree of mellow ambience somewhere within each of the tracks selected.
Robot Dreams is out now on Kahvi Collective.