lassi nikko (aka brothomstates) of suomi, finland, is relatively a new signing to warp records. before this full-length album he also released "qtio" ep on warp, yet another ep on exogenic records and full-length "kobn-tich-ey" entirely on mp3.
this is a soft, dreamy album with technoid rhythms seamlessly dissolving between the fragile synth waves; gentle key pulses touch the surface of music, sending small atonal ripples throughout the track. don’t be fooled by this calmness though, on a few tracks the rhythms get quite energetic, displaying minimal detroit-like vigor. the music is more calm than extravagant, it prefers quiet, laid-back rhythms, this "middle ground" of sound composition, when music takes you with melody, not with cool minimalism or dizzying layered technicalities; at the same time it has a few unexpected and very successful tricks up its sleeve, like slow transparent beginning on "kava" developing into incredibly addictive track with hollow fast-paced percussion and tiny shimmering touches of keys.
the sound of this release is filled with beautiful distant strings, almost unnoticeable at first, carefully weaved into the sonic fabric; melodies are accentuated by percussion that escapes typical idm rigidity and still manages to remain within the boundaries of the genre; emotion and composition is what’s important here, this ever-present touch and flowing nature of music that never becomes too lush, or too emotional, always remaining elegant and composed.
at times spacey and dreamy, at times chaotic and volatile, at times dark, at times downright playful, this album definitely has a distinct melancholic feel, avoiding often soulless sound modification of its peers in the genre. my favorite moments are the contrasting pieces with gentle, almost glitchy percussion laced with glittering keys and slowly developing technoid rhythms, supported by distant strings. this is when the refined, elegant nature of brothomstates is most apparent. of course on few tracks the idm legacy of autechre and the likes could not be avoided, but even there you would be able to detect a presence of brothomstates style.
I am sure that anyone familiar with the scene would immediately be able to find references to other artists, but I simply find myself enjoying the melodies, flowing percussion and relaxed, strangely "collected" nature of music. there is nothing radically new here, nothing really stunning, but a well-composed, well-executed work with a touch of distinct style and feel for harmony.