SEØUEL - Reykjavik

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2015-07-24

Scottish electronic producer SEØUEL returns with his new EP, Reykjavik, following last August’s Prague. Both works are inspired by perceptions of those cities, their peoples, their culture and location. 

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, and the warmth brought by its geothermal capacity and its vital urban culture, shares the same contrasts as SEØUEL’s EP, with its mechanical/industrial core buttressed by an organic heart. Just as Reykjavik’s colourful row houses represent an unwillingness to allow the grey and bleak winter to dictate mood, so the architecture in SEØUEL’s music allows release from the intrinsic sharpness of its mechanised sounds through a series of tempo changes aimed at exciting the senses and letting the mind cede to the body.

Described in the promotional material variously as "hard-hitting techno" and like "the score from a horror movie", I hear sophisticated Berlin house with a darkcore mindset, underscored not by an intemperate mood, but rather wonderment; wonderment at the beauty of harsh climatic elements. Plus, frankly, you can dance to it, and it’s entertaining along with being entrancing.

The "hard-hitting" description cannot relate to the pace. Sure, it occasionally reverts to the driving 4/4 beat, but it’s decidedly slow to mid-tempo, not suffocated by ear-splitting, ground-up bass or maligned by repetition. The organic heart of which I referred earlier is in its ability to define its sounds precisely and not homogeneously like a lot of EDM, perhaps its because it’s a soundtrack to a real experience rather than a construction of sounds designed for the clubbing marketplace. 

SEØUEL’s EP may well be an individual’s loose association with his transient thoughts, but it manages to achieve a very close synthesis with its subject matter, and is also an example of quality progressive EDM. 

One to watch out for definitely. Out on Disorder Records. 

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