Album Reviews

Erik Buschmann: Blue Spells

The Amsterdam-artists pops up with his excellent debut LP.

It feels like the big hitters in the world of electronic music are taking a year off. Granted, there are no doubt several releases that have evaded our ears (how can they not in this current deluge of new music?), however by and large, there has been a lull for the modern day beat pioneers.

These circumstances have created a vacuum for underground artists to emerge and showcase their abilities to mix it with the giants, and not just standing on the shoulders of them; actually creating the kind of sounds more than worthy to stand alongside them.

Acts like Whirling Hall of Knives, T. Gowdy, Ty Lumnus and Ordos. Mk.0 – even experimental rock veterans like Sam Prekop & John McEntire trying their hand in the realms of electronica and succeeding to great effect.

And now we add Amsterdam-based producer, Erik Buschmann to the list. Following the Dad I’m Home EP, Buschmann releases his debut LP, Blue Spells.

While the three tracks from the Dad Im Home EP feature on Blue Spells, they fit comfortably within this dynamic sonic realm, as Buschmann scours the shadowy landscapes once combed by electronic touchstones of the last two decades. Buschmann is creative though, adding his own glittery nuances and inflections to these songs; there’s no room for pastiche.

Eaters of the Soil: Inedia 1

With opening cut Worthless, Buschmann lifts the lid on his world and entices us to join him. And here, while perhaps not the most apt of song titles, People Die awaits with open arms. Part HVOB part Boards of Canada, this down-tempo track is simply bliss, paving the way for what’s to come.

Erik Buschmann - Blue Spells

Featuring Luka, Wings Wide is a warm snippet of electronica ideal for green open fields. And across these luscious terrains, The Villain and You=Goosebumps lift the bpm above the standard comedown rate. In fact, both are dynamic pieces of electronica, honing in on Buschmann’s main vocation as a drummer, with inflections of John Talabot and Moderat-like euphoria dotted throughout.

With This Is Me and Nightcrawler, Buschmann produces bullet-train electronica, with sounds snaking through dark grimy tunnels that lead lead to the same kind of splendour Jon Hopkins evoked with Music For Psychadelic Therapy.  

Puppies in the Sun: Light Became Light

Then there’s Now Or NeverBlue Spells’ highlight. Game ready for the dance floor, this is multi-faceted, dead-eyed electronica that stirs the primal parts of the soul. So good, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better track throughout the electronic sound world this year.

The raindrop electronica of Sleep or Scream and the Thom Yorke-inspired minimalism of Painted Snakes (featuring Klangstof) provide lovely beds of sound – perfect levellers one needs after meeting the force of something like Now Or Never.

Finishing with Dad Im Home, Buschmann takes his cues from improvisational sound worlds. A hope drone that provides the listener with a gateway to reach for the past. It’s stirring stuff, and only artists of the upper-echelon can create such environments to provoke the consciousness. All throughout Blue Spells, Buschmann not only achieves this, but he has produced one of the sleeper albums of the year in the world of electronic composition.

Blue Spells is out tomorrow via Reflektor Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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