RIYL: Tropics, SBTRKT

Label: Dekmantel

Let me start this off by wishing that you had a bountiful Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Now that Cyber Monday’s almost gone, everybody’s looking towards Christmas now. Some of you are going on vacation. If you’re in Europe, perhaps you’re thinking of heading to Thailand or somewhere in Southeast Asia for the holidays or Ibiza – anywhere away from the cold, right? Than Sadet, Guy Blanken’s (aka Makam) latest album, will get you prepared for the beach and having the sand coat your feet as you gaze out to the bright blue with a cool drink in hand. Than Sadet saw release this month, but its tropical grooves and dubby odes don’t echo a fall/wintry atmosphere at all. Than Sadet mixes balearic-bent beats with deep house, acid techno and dub techno. Than Sadet will warm up that heart of yours on the dancefloor, literally and metaphorically. Listen to a couple of tracks from Than Sadet below via the YouTube streams and see what you think of them. Cheers!

The Details

"How I would describe the music? As tropical emo mystic dance." Longtime family member Guy Blanken a.k.a. Makam returns to Dekmantel Records with his first full-length album for the Amsterdam based label. Blanken’s ongoing search for fresh sounds, textures and rhythms has lead him to Than Sadet, a gorgeous piece of work that takes his sound into new directions. "Than Sadet isn’t a club record," Blanken says.

That Sadet displays a refinement of Makam’s sound. The music is highly tactile, with an emphasis on the surroundings of the environment in which it was created. Blanken: "Than Sadet is a secluded beach on an island in Thailand. A mysterious atmosphere haunts it. It’s windy and the weather is always a bit worse compared to the rest of the isle. There are many cliffs and you can’t swim because the waves are too high. Four years ago I visited Than Sadet for the first time and I’ve been coming back ever since. At one point I decided to bring my studio equipment. For a week, I dedicated my days to making music. Those sketches formed the basis of the album."

The inspiration on Than Sadet is obvious. From billowing percussion thru windswept strings to passages of strange bird calls, and across desolate tracts of calving synthesizers to a climax with a finale of petrifying thunder drums. The levels of dramatic suspense are ski-high, and mostly downbeat and mid-tempo grooves operate beyond the dancefloor.

"Each track is based on a particular Than Sadet aesthetic. For example, ‘Mr. Singh’ is a masseur on the beach who uses fire while doing his shiatsus. ‘Buddha's Bridge’ is a wooden bridge that leads to an impressive Buddha monument; Seven Kings’ is an ode to a local waterfall. Tracks like ‘Mai Pen Rai’ and ‘When Light Gives You Hope’ are representative for Than Sadet. I tried to create an introspective album that does what the island did to me: it puts life into perspective."

Price $27.61





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