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Flica: "Telepathy Dreams"

img  Tobias

Just like it seemed, at one point, as though every single MySpace-site on the web had been pimped with Thomas' MySpace-editor, one can't help but feel that  there's a construction kit for contemporary Post-Classical and Electronica artists out there somewhere. Scores of albums filled with brittle backwards loops, fluffy field recordings, stuttering Guitar samples and deconstructed dabbers of acoustic instruments are being released each day, all carefully packaged in impeccably designed digipacks and distributed in limited, but anything but puny quantities. One should assume that the genre must by default be repeating itself, but remarkably, there are still plenty of producers out there capable of coming up with new forms from the same elements: Yuki Kaneko's „Rut“ (And/Oar) was a visionary free-floating continuum of constantly changing outlines, for example, and at the end of last year, Fjordne's „The Setting Sun“ established itself as the one album everyone could agree on, spanning a grand, conceptual arch from airy Ambient to deep, nocturnal chamber music.

Within this rapidly growing community, Eu Seng Seto has taken on the role of the dreamer. Clearly immersed in the familiar aesthetics of the aforementioned Sound Art scene, his pieces are as immediate and emotional like pop songs, feeding from bittersweet harmonies and undeniable hooks. His albums are anything but installational perpetuum mobiles, which he will  lazily put into motion with the click of a mouse and which will continue playing by themselves until someone pulls the plug. Instead, there was a real and tangible human factor shining through previous full-lengths „Nocturnal“ and „Windvane & Window“, unanymously displaying a pronounced preference for timeless values like composition, arrangement and thematic development over technical gadgetry, sound fetishism and complex layering. Instead of focing his audience through an increasingly algebraic web of loosely drifting motives and indecipherable timbral relations, Seto was drawing listeners in with his refined melodies, captivating them through subtle but effective tension archs and a subcutaneous rhythmical pulse, never too obvious to be bland yet always manifesting itself with a healthy dose of physicality.

On „Telepathy Dreams“, published independently but professionally distributed through a network of specialised retailers, Seto is taking this recognisable and highly refreshing style to perfection. You can clearly hear how several of these tracks were written from the perspective of a Pianist, with delicate layers of drones and micro-clicks entwining themselves around romantic chord progressions, how they are moving towards a resolution instead of just aimlessly lingering in the air. Even an outwardly pure Ambient piece like „Hie“, built on little more than a richly resonating organ drone, a field of joyfully ringing harmonics and a deep Bass swell, is carried by a distinct narrative told through a carefully measured melody on the baby grand which gradually surges to blissful cascades of euphoric notes. On other occasions, his preferences are becoming even more openly visible, as electronic manipulations are turning into accompaniment to almost classical compositions and percussive pulses coalescing into slow, Rock-like rhythms.

On the other hand, Seto is by no means as „incapable of Sound Design“ as he apparently likes to believe himself. In fact, „Telepathy Dreams“ benefits greatly from his capacity of melding the worlds of textural experiments and songwriting into a completely organic amalgam. Just four-minute short „Drun“ is a perfect example. Starting out with thick, beguilingly perfumed drones, the second part of the track superimposes a framework of sensual grooves and erotic Wave-Guitars on this foundation, turning the music into a slice of touching Dream-Pop akin to what some of the leading bands on legendary British imprint 4AD were doing so compellingly in the mid-80s and early 90s. And even though some of the longer cuts on the album seem to be yearning for a liberating outburst of orchestral fortes and emotional cescendi, nothing ever rises beyond the level of a whisper. It is this reticence which marks Eu Seng Seto as a wanderer between between the worlds of Sound Art and Composition: In his world, one can't exist without the other.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Flica

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