Of all popular genres, electronica has always been one of the more globally conscious, crossing oceans and transcending cultural boundaries in a wordless communication of rhythm and melody. Tempering the experimental tilt of his previous material with groovier, more graceful rhythms and an ear for ethnic melody unmatched by many in the ambient crowd, Mortinus is back with his brand new double-sided release, entitled “Pyramid”. An EP containing two tracks – “Yellow Pencil” and “Gold Pencil”. Danish electronic music producer Mortinus has a Danish father and a half Greenlandic and Danish mother, while he says that there are also traces of German ancestry in his family genealogy. This amalgamation of ethnicities comes through strongly in his music, except his sounds seem to be drawn more from Middle Eastern and Oriental influences than Nordic or Teutonic flavors.
The record maintains a special aura: largely rhythmic and intricately textured, it’s a staggeringly beautiful concoction of ambience, and synth tones, colored throughout by the captivating percussive sounds. The result is one of his best sets yet.
The tracks’ perfect pacing, delicate intricacy and pioneering production style ensures it always steers safely clear of the chill-out room predictability which has badly aged so much of the ambient canon. Indeed, it’s a brilliantly complimentary merging of sounds and rhythms.
With ambient music you always have to be careful that it doesn’t become wafty new-age music. It can disappear into the ether if not done properly, but Mortinus is an eccentric producer who has little problem avoiding that pitfall. Despite deriving its magnificence from the music’s cumulative impact, both tracks particularly endure in the memory.
In the past, Mortinus has delivered critically acclaimed and boundary-pushing productions, and here he continues to do so with “Pyramid”. This is not a recording to simply commute to work to. These tracks demand to be experienced at full blast.
No matter how impressive Mortinus’ ever-morphing soup of textures, samples and motifs become there is still something unescapably mysterious about the whole affair. However, considering that the core theme of “Pyramid”, and hence, both “Yellow Pencil” and “Gold Pencil”, sounds like the melding of technological possibilities of science fiction with the mysterious civilizations of the Middle East’s distant past, its retro-futuristic vibe feels entirely appropriate. Ultimately this is an immersive, imaginative journey into the unknown.
“Pyramid” is not beat-less, isolationist background music, but a set of ambient tracks with powerful grooves, masterful instrumentation, and priceless hooks and melodies that help set it ahead of the pack.
Every now and again a part of these tracks will grab your attention and astound you, this is the way ambient music is meant to be enjoyed, its popular music, but not as we know it. In fact, it is not pop music, ambient has always been closer to classical than the ever popular verse-chorus-verse that dominates people’s fascination with music.