Long-time Soma associate Simon Stokes makes a more than welcome return to the fold under his Petrichor moniker, delivering the brand new, immersive album Narisshu. As a hardware enthusiast with his own music school in Glasgow, Simon’s approach to music-making is highly refined and over the years he has crafted a unique and soulful sound that straddles the worlds of House, Techno, Ambient and beyond. His new album is a perfect follow up to his debut LP, Mangåta, displaying greater depth and maturity in the production which explores deeper paths in his musical taste and continues this burgeoning producer’s natural progress.
Narisshu’s epic journey begins with the sub-aquatic San and the short but sweet There. Both are doused in electrostatic atmosphere and glistening pads, setting the tone for what is to unfold. Valdo hints at more cerebral times with its jazz-inspired, dubbed-out Rhodes chords and gentle percussive elements. Beautifully crafted and subtle sequences create the backbone to After Velvet which still remains in the electroacoustic environment with its sweeping drones and constantly modulating FX; bound together by sluggish yet enveloping beats.
The pace of the album quickens somewhat at 6EQUJ5 storms in with a fairly definitive kick drum and polyrhythmic structures paving the way for the album’s first foray into dance floor territory. Title track Narisshu marks the mid-way point of the album and has Petrichor delving deeper once again whilst still keeping things on a 4×4 tip; his use of melodic progression display more than just emotion. MXT10 provides another glorious interlude of deep and engrossing ambient work before Blöta once again picks up the pace as arpeggiated synths dance around a backdrop of dense soundscapes. A change of direction toward the final few tracks has ethereal designs explored in the breakbeats of Field Dub and in the IDM leanings of Riot Faux Pas. The slow-burning, acid-tinged Sapiens offers one last bastion of beat-driven work before Last delivers a sedative ending to an album graced with all the pleasure electronic music affords.
04. After Velvet
09. Field Dub
10. Riot Faux Pas