Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Elli Records – 21st May 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Mathematic graduate turned musician (Conservatory of music and jazz studies) Daniele Sciolla has, it would seem, found a suitable home on Elli Records: just look at those precise, diagrammatic, geometrically-precise cover designs.

There was a time I’d have likely dismissed all of this as one massive nerdgasm, and have been largely unimpressed by the tale of his ‘trips all around Europe searching for rare synthesisers’, but through exposure I’ve come to appreciate the minutiae that are the obsessional objectives of works like this, which really probe deep into the tiniest nuances of sound which can be achieved through the working of these machines.

This EP goes deep into the relationship between sounds, tones, and individual notes, and as the notes explain, ‘On each track, synthesisers are either presented as a timbrical mass, or left alone by themselves, in which case even the smallest details of a single synth become audible.’

Once acclimatised and accustomed to the granular, detailed explorations, it’s not difficult to grasp why there is such a fascination with analogue equipment: the extraordinary versatility they offer when all of the variables are tweaked, even infinitesimally, is a thing of wonder.

Sciolla’s five comparatively short pieces – only one extends beyond four minutes, and the whole EP is under fifteen – retain a sense of musicality that’s often absent from many experiments in analogue, and while there are many wows and flutters, and rapid-bouncing stammers that sound like ping-pong being played at a million miles an hour, there are structural elements that give the pieces shape. There are even brief moments that fleetingly call to mind Hot Butter’s ‘Popcorn’, although to be clear, there’s nothing quite so buoyant or cheesy on offer here. But there is a sense of fun, a certain playfulness – or perhaps it’s the sound of sheer joy.


EL33 digital 5

14th February 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

A Sunday is an unusual day to release a single but then, the ‘Teetering’ single release is can be considered a Valentine’s gift of sorts, from polyartist Carmina Budworth. It’s a love song, a song about falling in love, that point on the brink of uncertainty, the excitement and anticipation of something new, told vividly through hazy images of the kind of drunken night out with music and people that seem so very long ago. And as such, it’s not only a love song to an individual, a song about that moment, but can be taken as a love song to the time before everything stopped.

Recorded in between lockdowns back in June of last year, it’s a song of optimism, of new beginnings. It lands at a time when after what has been for many the longest, hardest winter, there is a growing sense of optimism for new shoots of life concurrent with the coming of spring, and ‘Teetering’ conveys that spirit of optimism tempered by trepidation.

There’s a timelessly old-fashioned or vintage feel to the song that goes beyond the traditional Argentinean tango and 60s pop vibe that’s laced with soul, and it stands in contrast with the swelling drum machine beats that eventually grow to lead the backing and propel the song to a blossoming flourish of a finish that’s entirely contemporary.

Carmina has a distinctive and unusual vocal style, which is at once soft and strong, delicate and powerful. That’s not to mention her impressive range, that spans a ponderous whisper to sky-soaring freedom, and it’s enthralling. Carmina carries the listener on a wave that builds and lifts and stops before the drop. It’s a wonderful experience.

The ‘Malica Surprise’ mix pins down a smooth electropop groove with a crisp, solid beat and bulbous bass that brings new dimensions to a song that’s already multi-dimensional, making this quite a package.