SONAE: Far Away is Right Around the Corner LP Monika Enterprise

sonae

SONAE: Far Away is Right Around the Corner LP Monika Enterprise

Sonae’s full-length debut on the Monika Enterprise label utilises its fair share of ambient simplicities, programming wise. Reversing sounds always add an element on instability when purposely falling in waves over airy pads; and opener ‘Gewitterspaziergang’ draws the listener in with pleasant coaxing aural gestures.

The title track utilises a bed of simplistic, yet effective harmonics. Maybe on the edge of a little too piercing for my liking, they could have been rounded off somewhat; but that technique will come with time.

An endless bank of drones appear to be at Sonae’s disposal and she isn’t afraid to use them where least expected. Chopping and changing from easy listening, to off kilter tension, shows a brave maturity; and it can be quite disconcerting to be wrapped in a warm glow one minute, only to be dropped in a sea of icy cold drowning ambience, the next.

Sparing glitches, gloopy electronics and shiny pitches are aplenty; and it’s this mini arsenal that makes ‘Far Away is Right Around the Corner‘ a pleasant and endearing listen, that kept me engaged from start to finish.

8/10

MICHAELA MELIÁN: Monaco CD/LP Monika Enterprise

michaelamelian

MICHAELA MELIÁN: Monaco  CD/LP Monika Enterprise

This is Michaela’s 3rd solo release continuing a theme of geographically based albums.  Made up of largely acoustic instrumentation, layered into loops, this F.S.K bassist has a lot to offer lighter electronic enthusiasts, as well those who entertain classical music.

There is a droning beauty to much of ‘Monaco’, as is displayed on the hypnotic ‘Place Stalingrad’.  Each individual track does take the listener away to wherever she has focussed the music thematically.

The most peculiar and unexpected song on this album is a vocally deadpan rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters’; where Michaela lays tribute well to one of her all time heroes and is the only song on this album with vocals.  Personally I have never been a big fan of Bowies work in any guise, no matter how talented he is; but this cover version does break up the pace of ‘Monaco’, which at times becomes a tad dreary by the weight of its own solemnness.

Overall, this latest work is a decent place to start if you haven’t heard anything previous by the artist.  Whilst lacking a little in the excitement stakes, there is much to be gained on here if you like contemplating life through a rain drizzled windowpane; of which I sometimes do.

7.5/10