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xela
for frosty mornings and summer nights
neo ouija   2003
  see also
neo ouija website
xela website

album rating: 3
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submitted by anton on 9-Apr-2003

I am sure you have heard of xela, since name of this one-man british project has popped up on a few compilation and remixes. finally - a full-length on neo ouija, and a debut that turned out to be one of my favorites from this label.

john twells started out with classical training and arrived to the sound that at first glimpse could remind you of organic arrhythmic sound of opiate or light-hearted delicacy of latter manual. soon enough the album attains increasingly minimal, drawn-out low-fi nature. gentle humming and crackling is punctuated by basslines and muffled melodic elements. it flows delicately, possessing a fragile, poetic subtlety that indeed is perceived as if through the mist of early morning.

this is a release that transcends the genres, utilizing elements from various directions, including almost hip-hop touches and crackling, grainy feel of old records and classical instruments - both melancholic and fragmented, in a sense distant memories are, perceived through the veil of time.

the album slowly draws you in, becoming so intimate towards the end, that tiniest breaths and touches of distant melodies acquire a heartbreaking nature. this is the release that is so earnest and pure, so expressive without any trace of pretension, that it immediately stands out as one of the most memorable and moving works in a long time.


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