Just out, Stroom return with another look into Pablo’s Eye and the second part of a vinyl ‘trilogy’ from the label. Bardo for Pablo is the follow up to April’s excellent Spring Break and exhibits plenty of heavy percussive ambience from Axel Libeert + collaborators. Selections come from 90s CD releases You have a yearning for perfection and Prepare for the others to follow and some lovely unreleased pieces which gets me excited for part three.
Distant drums and chiming tones, opener Amb 8 feels like a meeting of paths starting at different origins and converging at a central point. Cool moods, meditative melodies and shifting percussion, then half way it opens up to give way to a roiling break. The rest of the record follows suit. Horizons, warmth, sun down. The band mixing colours but there’s sand in the paint. Scenes come into view, hover, then recede.
Bardo for Pablo starts from a place of such confidence that is has to do almost no convincing. You’re there with it, taking it all in. When Pablo’s Eye make music it feels like a constant flow somehow – the releases measure speed, temperature, direction of travel.
Also new from Stroom is a compilation from journeyman Latvian musician Ingus Baušķenieks. Out in August, Spoki is a record of clever new wave funk and slightly rigid (in a cool way) dubby pop recorded from the late 80s up until 2011.
Mixing homespun new wave, untidy thump and European folk into a concoction laced with euphoric Horn-isms and spoken word, Spoki brims with inventive pop experimentation. One of the things that really stays with you are how many voices are present – loud, upfront and in the mix. The see-what-happens approach keeps a roughness to the tracks that cut deep, Spoki is totally unlike any other record you’ll hear all year.