Endless echoes of distant noises.
Minnesota composer Elskavon has long intrigued me with his music. When composers say they do ambient or drone music, often those pieces are quite tame or meditative or they lean on classical nuances to structure their songs. Elskavon instead turns to the experimental synth and noise world for inspiration. Often his drone work can feel harsh, his synth work granular and his work skirts around mood pieces by virtue of being moody – not relaxing.
‘A Welcome Noon’ doesn’t change this in the slightest. His new EP opens with ‘Deeper’ – a six-minute ethereal dusty synth run that speeds up and slows down into a wiry crawl. It is like your consciousness has been synthetically expanded and then it collapses in on itself. Elskavon also plays a lot with reverb and damage distortion and previously he uses post-rock guitars to create weird and wonderful soundtracks. This makes a return with the tape-chewed ‘Measured’ which feels like two tracks have been tapped over each other. It is quite eerie in its own unique way. It pairs nicely with ‘Seattle (2020 Rework) that uses the guitar in a similar way but more melodic rather than a horror movie soundtrack.
As the EP hits its stride, the tone changes into deeper, softer noises. ‘Meins’ is all about the hue of noises. Guitar wails from epic distances sound like they are spinning around a tin can. Other seemingly random plinks and plonks from organs scatter around the wails to you can never really get a hold of the emotion of the track. That randomness turns into synth randomness with ‘Ranier’ as bleeps and bloops scatter across the speakers at pace. They feel like soft raindrops but perhaps that’s me initially thinking the track was titled ‘Rainier’! Slowly deeper, muffled bass drones seep in and take over the randomness and soothes the track down to a hissing click. That allows the vast guitar drone and bird song piece ‘Brooks’ to really shine. It feels like you could use it against vast nature backdrops to create an isolated but serene movie. This allows ‘Anda (2020 Rework)’ to close out the EP meshing together a lot of the plushie synth styles heard before and slink off into the ether.
Ambient, drone and probably post-rock fans will enjoy a lot of what Elskavon does. He manages to not quite scratch any one itch and so his work is quite difficult to solidly recommend to just one crowd. The best way I can describe his work is ‘a musical version of a pencil drawing that has been smudged’. The sound lives off room hiss, tape noise, echo and reverb so if you enjoy that type of ambience and drone – this is an EP for you.
Recommended track: Ranier
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