Rather glad to come home earlier this week to find the new Kelpe album Ex-Aquarium had popped through the letterbox. I’ve been listenning to Kelpe rather a lot since coming accross him on the rather lovely DC Recordings compilation Death Before Distemper, where his Quick Broken Harp is two minutes of evil glitchy electronic genius. There aren’t many modern electronica tracks which are both excellent and make for a disconcerting and brilliant ring tone.
This led me on to his first album Sea Inside Body which proved to be my favourite bath time listenning of 2007. Age Sculpture and Age Concerns are easily the highlights of the album with some glitchy genius underscoring the disorienting nature of growing up as remarked upon by a number of samples from documentaries on young ladies. And it sounds a lot better than I just made it sound, honest. What Kelpe seems very hooked on in these tracks and most of his work is playing about with sounds that are noticeably imperfect, be they slightly off-key melodies that feel very Boards Of Canada like, samples which have been down sampled enough that you can hear the gaps and also an appreciation of “warm” organ sounds. All things I like, basically.
On the new album there is more stuff to harp on about in the shape of Half Broken Harp which is kind of a 12″ extended remix of Quick Broken Harp made to feel much more organic and also to reveal, candidly almost, just how much he’s played about with his harp samples as it builds slowly from a clean sample to the original track after 80 seconds when the beat finally kicks in. In this it’s reminiscent of Venetian Snares, and as a fellow Amigan I’ll note here that both Kelpe and Venetian Snares started their musical heritage on such an instrument/home computer without becoming as shit as Calvin Harris. I won’t attempt to coin a term for a musical genre to ghetto-ise such artists into though.
So, listen to the new album at the least – it’s rather nice.