Saturday, June 30, 2012
Ambient electronica is a genre I'm incredibly fond of. More often than not however, a sense of place is traded in for surrealism. Synth passages become winding, transcending endearment and making otherwise well-embedded samples appear lost and disconnected. This alien abstraction is appealing, offering us ethereal or frightening soundscapes, voices from the past lingering and echoing around the cavernous oblivion that is the imagination. Portugal's Saitam takes a different approach. World music is utilised, hand-claps and horns painting an inherently more recognisable picture. Taking the fourth track 'Rebellion', we find ourselves upon a busy road. Cars speed past, leading you to sweet melodies and the comfort of an evening breeze. The traffic is muffled, maintaining that surrealism but layering it upon the structure and monotony of reality. You can visualise hands clapping and water dripping. Walking under a road, vibrations shudder. Faster, tribal drums emerge, uneasy and repetitive and beautiful. The vocals Saitam records on other tracks is affected and gothic-styled, oriental shakers and the solace of grand temples perfectly balanced by symphonic builds and dreamy climaxes. Saitam takes classical ambient techniques and moulds them around physical sounds rather than synthetic ones. Real drums instead of computer-generated beats. It's this grounding in the absolute that makes 'West - East' great. Authenticity verses surrealism reveals the beauty of the everyday, changing your perception rather than offering a different view! Stream 'Encounters', then go download the whole EP from the Bandcamp here!