Music Reviews

May 15 2019
Artist: ANN
Title: Certain Colors
Format: CD + Download
Label: Seaside On Postcards
ANN in this instance is an acronym alias, that has been used for almost a decade as the nom de plume of an undisclosed number of anonymous musical experimenters (possibly just one), any number or none of whom may or may not actually be called Ann.

For this release, ANN offer up seven tracks, each one named after a colour, and each with a diverse and distinctive musical make-up. The prominent style, for the purposes of pigeonholing, is dark synthetic atmospherics- long rumbles, echoes and hollow soundscaping with a tendency towards bleakness. It’s offered up in fairly pure fashion on opener “Crimson” and in a scratchier and slightly more sci-fi way on “Grey”.

However it’s also a cousin of minimal techno, with gentle and slightly oblique rhythm patterns underpinning tracks like “Ocre” (‘ochre’?), which relies on the tried and tested technique of pulling a fairly fast and complex rhythm pattern against arhythmic atmospheric noises. Final track “Yellow” takes a similar approach, melding deep lung-like rumbles with seemingly random high-pitched beeps and squeaks. “Purple Hue” is also techno, on a technicality, but with a more laid-back and contrary mood infused into it.

Personally I found “Orange” a bit of a highlight, as it takes its techno and electronica elements and points them in a slightly more playful and retro direction, resulting in something that sounds faintly Radiophonic Workshop-ish. However there’s something just a touch nondescript in some of the sounds and moods here, with tracks like “Vermilion” arguably a little wishy-washy and lacking any kind of distinct selling point, so don’t hunt this out if looking to be challenged or illuminated.

I’m British (for better or worse) and probably the most difficult thing about reviewing this release is remembering to type “Colors” instead of “Colours” in the title. Everything else about it is very easy and enjoyable. Dark yet leisurely deep electronica.

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