Monday, August 3, 2020
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Artist: Daniel K. Böhm
Title: Carrier
Format: CD
Label: Eilean Rec.
Rated: *****
Another very interesting proposal by the excellent French label Eilean is the official debut release by American sound artist Daniel K.Böhm, introducing himself in his Bandcamp as a disgraced physicist whose career was remarkably compromised by the accidental melting of a reactor in Wüttenschlesig, who decided to live in a sort of self-isolated dimension in an abandoned cotton farm nearby Spur in Texas. As there are no official chronicles, documenting such a disaster in Germany, I could guess that Daniel invented this fictional identity just like many supposedly prodigious or particularly inventive teens do. The reason why I made such a comparison to explain such a bizarre mimicry derives from the listening of his album, which almost invariably recalls a childish dimension or I'd rather say a controlled regressive behavior. Besides the nostalgic hook, particularly vivid both when Daniel seems to invite listeners to an enchanted daydreaming over the sound of music boxes and pleasantly hypnotic vibraphones and when he creates trapping guitar-driven miniatures, such a regression got pushed by other interesting stylistic choices: the occasional recurrence of tape manipulation, a format that smells like regression; some melodies that could vaguely evoke similar returns to innocence by first steps by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) - you could notice some similarities between vibraphone-driven Daniel's "Componium Orbit" and Four Tet's "Hands" -; the iterations of toytronics in tracks like "Mangrove" and "Critter"; the recursive use of injecting somehow old-fashioned synth loops that pushes memory back to German kosmische muzak, as if they were resurfacing memories (particularly in "Under Rhodes"). However Daniel doesn't let his head fall back on the soft and scented pillows of pre-puberty, but he rolls his sound behind with a recognisable sophistication, as you can easily guess by the sketched description of some tracks of this "Carrier" and even though the structure of many tracks is often quite simple, the whole album doesn't sound predictable or banal. It just demands devotional attention and its grace could persuade to make a fuss of his sound. Just like an innocent baby!


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