Boomkat Product Review:
Currently pumping out releases at an enviable and prodigious rate, Home Normal are threatening to overload us with ambience - if that's not too much a contradiction in terms. Thankfully, Ian Hawgood's imprint continues to maintain its high standards with this new outing from London-based artist Michael Santos, whose name you may recognise from works for such fine purveyors of electronica as Benbecula, U-Cover and Baskaru. One of the first things to strike you about Memory maker is the unusually physical presence it has: 'Alphaville' for starters feels like a gust of hot air, full of blustery drones and tactile crackles - it's a great way of announcing yourself. From here onwards you might notice a counterpoint between the album's all-round mellifluousness and the recurrence of a kind of intensive, buzzing belligerence that recalls the aesthetics of certainRaster Noton records, or the more stringent moments in Steinbruchel's catalogue. One or two shorter pieces lodged into the album's centre offer an oasis of out-and-out loveliness, with the natural harmonic plucks and floating tones of 'Magenta Dayline' sounding sufficiently blissful and summery to have hayfever sufferers sneezing with delight. 'Slowdance' and the exquisite 'Hollowing Out' represent two late, long-form highlights, purveying yet more needling and pristine digital timbres once again striking up that deftly ambiguous balance between absolute ornamental loveliness and intrepid sonic experimentation.