Boomkat Product Review:
Finnish laptop fantasist Atte Elias Kantonen follows last year’s astonishing ‘POP 6 SUSURRUS’ with this new suite of surreal, hi-sheen digital models, a huge recommendation if you’re into anything from T C F to Theo Burt, Elysia Crampton to Microstoria.
Kantonen's remarkable grasp of advanced sound design seems to notch up a gear with every release. His colourful superstructures are balmy, bendable and fluent - architectural, but built from material that’s hard to fully comprehend. ‘A path with a name' centres an a digital narrator who guides us through those simulated topographies like some futuristic host, articulating its contours with a sense of detached but radiant inflections.
Once again Kantonen provides an irrational alternative to Big Ambient: structuring music that's calm but razor sharp, rejuvenating but unsettling. He never resorts to overworked tropes; despite the music fitting neatly into the family tree of digital computer music, it sounds screwed and futuristic, guided by app malaise, open-world RPG topography and an overabundance of information as much as it is technological development.
Harmonies drift like pregnant clouds, a scurry of glassy, percussive whirrs and dissonances punctuate the negative space like malfunctioning cyborgs clipping through an alpha-version dreamscape. Whenever it gets too chaotic or too uncomfortable, there's the narrator's tranquil, synthetic voice to guide you to safety. It’s a bit like a bio-electrical save-state, music that pauses the chaos for a second and allows time to scrub forward and backward like being frozen in a k-hole.