Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Alek Fin’s mesmerizing Án Mynda

December 14, 2015

anmynda

Alek Fin’s latest EP, Án Mynda, is like a mesmerizing love-at-first-sight experience between Bon Iver and an electronic empress. The five tracks are equidistant between earth and atmosphere. Woodsy vocals and instrumentation that gives just enough–nothing more and nothing less–root this EP in natural, earthy undertones, while a gust of electronica lifts it off the ground.

The title track contains a jolting, animated back-and-forth chorus that resembles the sound of quickened monk chants; it is both comforting and confident in its softness. Deep reverberation eventually slips in and guides the track up a winding road of transcendental sound.

“Lift Up” is a dim dance party in slow-mo and the eventual warm, appreciated crash into your bed at the end of the night, all in four minutes and forty-four seconds. “Insight” boasts even more hauntingly beautiful vocals that hollow out, gain depth and hollow out again, like a stream of consciousness rather than lyrics.

“Golden, Blinding (Feat. Galun)” is flat-out sexy, painting an abstract picture of lovers in landscapes, with lyrics like, “I see you on the water/You gravitate to me.” It erupts into a tunneling of sound that reminds those slanting, heavenly cylinder-shaped crepuscular rays that burst through the grayness after rain. “Golden, Blinding” is like a droid gliding over land, getting a whole aerial view of the world.

Alek Fin ends Án Mynda with a track that achieves “lullaby” better than any nursery story I’ve ever heard. “Eyes Open Shut” is a sensually simple song, ruffled by big, buttery, cumulus cloud vocals and soft, jumping percussion that give this track a heart and a heartbeat.

Alek Fin has thought of the whole picture here: the script, how to shoot each scene, the healthy weight of each song. He is a meditative artist, and Án Mynda is the furthest piece of music from ersatz electronic; it’s a successful, authentic experiment of sound.–Rachel Haney

Start of the Autumnal Electruinox

September 28, 2015

  1. Diamond in the Rough” – Dr!ve. This weekend I was out at Kibitz Room, and the boogie-down vibe of the red-velvet-lit d!ve bar, where a 99-year-old David Bowie lookalike sat sipping bourbon, could be described with this synth-pop, funk-dr!ven jam. As light as the instrumentation is, there is soul and richness in the brown liquor-warmth of it all.

  2. Baby When I Close My Eyes” – Sweet Spirit. The nine-piece indie band brings it on like a crop top-wearing ‘90s chick with sticky sweet vocals, an attractive string section, and sexy rock qualities.

  3. Highly Emotional” – Benjamin Verdoes. F**k. This really is strikingly emotional. Longing, pulling, swirling soundscapes paired with echoed vocals that sound like they’re galaxies away, how could it not be?

  4. Air” – Clas Tuuth. An electronic breeze of hand claps, light, feminine vocals, and a natural easiness of sound.

  5. Two Bodies” – Flight Facilities (Henri remix). All he needs is five minutes, and all I needed was a half hour to pick myself up off the floor after hearing this gorgeous remake that emphasizes suave European vocals with string, piano, and of course, that tempestuous house beat.

  6. Heart of Glass” – Korr-A. Had to give a shout out to last weekend’s Los Angeles Mad Decent Block Party with this colorful, pop-trap dance party track. Korr-A is that chick people hated on in high school because she was just so much damn cooler than they were.

  7. Groove Squared” – Ghost Lover (Steve Hope remix). Powerful piano, blubbering bass, and minimalist vocals bring Barcelona-infused vibes that make me sad to see summer go.

  8. Chicago Warehouse Party 1995” – Thee Koukouvaya. If this had a video, it would go something like this: Aliens zap you up into a multi-dimensional, techno-laced, time-barren universe and then drop you back down through the atmosphere, tumbling towards Chicago, and crash you through a stained glass warehouse ceiling onto the tranced-out, upward arms of dancing strangers.

  9. Burred Lens” – Arts & Crafts (WIN WIN remix). Burred Lens brings crispness to the Arts & Crafts original that once gets going, rhymically zigzags down an angel-white powdered vertical. Hint, hint, 2:07.

  10. Arch” – Rough Year. Bringing a raw realness that only a citizen of the City of Brotherly Love could deliver, trans artist Rough Year texturizes grit, spooky vocal snippets, and demonic percussion for over eleven minutes of an experience as deep and dark as those Philly potholes.

  11. Golden, Blinding (Feat. Galun)” – Alek Fin. James Blake-esque vocals with severe electronic sensuality it’s not hard to be magnetized to. I haven’t seen Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’d imagine the movie should have went something like this…

  12.  Say My Name (Fakear Remix)” – Odesza (feat. Zyra). Fakear’s fresh remake of the Odesza hit is sophisticated, adding a new filter of flyness achieved through twinkling synth, diamond-encrusted vocal bits, and subtly brilliant drops. This is a crisp remix that’s been released in appropriate unison with the autumnal equinox.
Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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