One word sums up the self-titled offspring between contemporary composer Olafur Arnalds’ collaboration with Bloodgroup’s Janus Rasmussen: surreal.
What seems to be more of side project for the budding alt-indie artists has turned into a full-fledged ambient/minimalist tour-de-force that will play more to the likings of Nicolas Jaar/Darkside fans than mid-90s tech heads.
Glimmers of Arnalds’ atmospheric and depressed strings are definitely to be found alongside Rasmussen’s beat-heavy but gently subtle touches. The combined effort is greater than the individual parts with a mixture of sublime (“Swayed,” “Looped”) to one of the best aggressive synth dance tracks (“Bent”) and ambient pieces (“Lit”) of the year.
There is a uniqueness to the Kiasmos self-titled recording that adds unpredictability to familiarity. In ways the album goes by the traditional formulas of ambient-techno mashups, but there is a continual never-steady, bounce between pleasure and pain that gives a Kiasmos a glance of uncertainty that prevents it from falling into the boredom or mundaneness of one-dimensional ambient recordings. There always remains the sense of isolation within Kiasmos’ effort, even amongst its more uptempo tracks, but its a welcomed admiration of finding self amongst the emptiness.
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