Label: Stockholm LTD
Release Date: 30/08/2016
It is not common for label bosses to join forces. However, Nihad Tule (SLOBODA) and Pär Grindvik (Stockholm LTD) show the promise of such collaboration. Their joint Landmarks effort, out on Stockholm LTD, is a sum of complementary parts; a sign of things to come. We peel through each below.
Kuortane (Landmarks) moves with resolve, a shuffling percussion carrying a series of synth waves that struggle to mask the entry and exit of a fierce bassline. As you feel the onset of a liberating chord pattern at the halfway mark, you clench your fist and loosen your shoulders. It transforms into the sound of a mechanical choir. You know their song by heart. Nihad’s ability to evolve a story through an amalgamation of elements is manifested here — a landmark for all to see.
Rested continues the club spirit of Tradition, driving forward with head down and knees folding to a stomping beat and blunt hi-hats. The real action, however, happens in the enigmatic soundscape. Grindvik paints a modulating scene of alien bird chirps and the distant echo-location attempts of unseen visitors. You must join in the search party and trod on through uncharted lands with them.
Tradition is a winding, repetitive trip by label boss Grindvik. He raises energy levels with a club-ready low end. Easily confused for a typical techno track, it quickly shows its true nature with a revolving flurry of confronting melodies and undulating synthesis.
Islingh feels like a rather misplaced, 25-second interlude. It does nothing to bridge the 2 halves of the EP. Perhaps it would have been better to leave it out and avoid diluting the set.
Bleed rounds out the EP, venturing into analogue territory with a slow, precarious loop. However, this track feels far less engaging than Tule’s opening precursor. The path layered with intrigue and mystery that he is known for is left behind for a more unfamiliar state of monotony.
In all, Landmarks is a sound effort. However, it fails to venture fully into either club-focused techno or its more mentally-stimulating, deep variant. This may not sit well with those that prefer more straightforward releases. Even so, Tule and Grindvik make a formidable pairing. It would be interesting to see what they come up with doing collaborative projects. This EP is definitely a good start.
Landmarks will be out in 12″ vinyl (August 30th) and digital format (12 September).
Get the Landmarks EP
We would like to thank Finbar (Wallroom Music Group) for making this possible.