Artist: Kalya Scintilla
Released: January 2012
We’re not averse to a bit of a throwback around these parts. But then, 2012 isn’t so very long ago, is it? As a listener, I find that time tends to do funny things, like leading me to stumble on a 5 year-old gem of an album and still get the feeling it’s 5 years ahead the present.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you might be starting to get a feel for this reviewer’s prevailing taste in aural fodder – something along the lines of ‘electroacoustic psybient groove’ probably encapsulates it. While putting forward that I do, in fact, enjoy a variety of music, it must be said that Kalya Scintilla fits that bill to a tee.
In saying that, it must be emphasised that there’s nothing generic about this downtempo journey through some majestically mystical sonic landscapes. The album is, in a word, beautiful – it’s intricately detailed from start to finish, with lush instrumental features trailing around liquid-like digital sounds and finishes. At the same time, there’s something decidedly squelchy going on that puts a playful spin on this deeply harmonious concoction.
I wish there was more info in the album notes about this Australian-born but internationally roaming producer’s process. Is he a midi instrumentalist? Or does he recruit guests to play ‘organic’ instruments? Does he sample from acoustic tracks by other players? My curiosity stems from wanting to understanding the inner workings of the incredibly silky mixing of world music and electronic beat production on this album. The music is so tightly composed – woven together in such high resolution – that it’s difficult for me to unpack its way of coming to be.
But that, perhaps, is part of the magic of it. There is something hypnotically magical about this energising tonic of an album. It imparts a sense of there being an oasis – one that may or may not be an illusion – shimmering in the listener’s aural field. No doubt, there’s some kind of sonic wizardry going on here.