Review of Somi [12k1087]

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“Somi” is an interesting exercise in the organic and analogue looping of a collection of extremely mellow, clean musical sounds sourced from an electric piano, a glockenspiel, and a Yahama DX7 synth. Using a handheld tape recorder for loops adds an ambience of electroacoustic sub-hiss and the occasional microtonal tape warp that was an unavoidable irritant in the 1980’s, now rebranded as a desirable sonic wash.

Rather than being looped digitally using a DAW, every repetition is played by hand, adding natural inconsistencies. Different instruments loop with different frequencies, subtly offsetting the phase relationships between each layer. The result is a sort of wildly strung-out music box effect, extremely sedentary plucked tones that arrive sharply but fade in a languid fashion.

The track “Evode” adds a smattering of darker undertones that ebb rather than arrive, but it’s a subtle variation that doesn’t really divert from the overall tone.

The complexity of the underlying analogue production are somewhat forgotten, as the end result is deceptively simple- a pure-toned, faintly romantic, sleep-inducing (in a good way) fifty-one minutes of calm.

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