Kettel: Myam James Part 1

Sending Orbs, 2008

Myam James Part 1 cover

Kettel is one of the few electronic music makers to wear his heart on his sleeve. He isn’t afraid of sweet melody, and he has the confidence to mix old and new sounds. He follows up last year’s beautiful Whisper Me Wishes with some of the warmest acid tracks I’ve ever heard.

On “The Wombat,” TB-303 squelches swarm over softer synths. It’s a happy tune. “Dolend” plays with a similar palette, but at a slightly slower pace. “Kroost Kids” pairs a crunchy hip-hop beat with harpsichord-like tones. The melody is great, and a solid bassline pulls it all together. “Church” sounds a lot like a certain Squarepusher track, albeit with simpler percussion.

On the second half of the album, Kettel moves into different territory. “Ende” is a strange, beatless ballad with atonal singing over slow synths. “Palle’s Popsong” seems straight-forward enough, but it ends with a recording of what seems to be a fight. “Fishfred” is rather melancholy, while “Twinkle Twinkle” is a re-working of a similarly named track from Look At This! Ha Ha Ha!

Two fine remixes flesh out this release. Phoenecia turn “My Dogan” into a brooding, abstract collage of sound. Secede’s remix of “Church” slowly builds with voices and oscillating bass, the former sounding like a Bach organ work played presto.

Count Kettel as another artist inspired by AFX’s Analord project, but of course Reimer has his own refreshingly unique interpretation. I have a feeling this album will make my top ten at the end of the year. I can’t wait to hear the second part in a few months!

5/5 stars

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