Aera / Offseason Traveller
Digital / CD
Aleph Music / Released March 2013
There are certainly plenty of angles from which to approach this impressive debut from Aleph Music bossman Aera. That’s largely because it occupies that strange territory in between more familiar dance canons, staring with glassy-eyed psychedelia, whilst lunging to broken beats, and nodding to all manner of musical regions as it does.
Of course this is far from a unique accomplishment. Arguably the days could well be numbered for this kind of diverse, ‘is it this is it that’ sound, but nevertheless the bell has yet to toll and so long as output like this still reaches the intended audience as a result of the widespread proliferation of such styles then we say all the better. After all, there really is only so much repetitive dancefloor mayhem you can listen to on a Monday morning.
If anything, Aerea’s inaugural LP opens like the antithesis to the sweaty beat overload. After four tracks of decidedly warm Bibio-esque slo-mo dub funk and near ambient soundscapes Cambio might act as the best of the first bunch, all gentile vibes via sci-fi console bleeps, strings chords and light, whispy vocals. Enough to relieve anyone of 6AM insomnia, even the arrival of exotic tribalistic drums in the final furlong can’t disturb the bliss, conjuring images of lush landscapes and anything but dark dark basements.
Further down the line and things pick up the pace pleasingly. Chevere‘s frantic beats and lunatic whirl of synth hook might seem like a strange addition considering what we’ve just said, but realistically it makes perfect sense once we arrive at that point. Leaving The Fiction and Die Pferden, both in between, are along the lines of plucked melodic rolling tech house and the solid end of Kompakt respectively, and there’s plenty more to follow. Flipside of Time‘s building analogue harmonies and Tunguska‘s robust electro will certainly move feet- and we could go on. The point has probably been made already, though, meaning you understand this is a fine record to hear in its entirety.