Boomkat Product Review:
Emotionally tender ambient and IDM beats from Norway’s PAN-AL, debuting on R&S’s moody sibling, Apollo. RIYL Bjarki, Astrobotnia, Plaid
“"Starting this year, I re-discovered music making in a sense, as a channel for inner vision and method of connecting with oneself, at a time when I was doing a lot of thinking," Alexander explains. "I kind of just let things flow without a plan or agenda, and the result was this EP. "
PAN-AL's music is based around the core wash of ethereal synth pads and plangent synth melodies, bolstered by tastefully glitching beats that call to mind Selected Ambient Works dreamy rave atmosphere: "Combining light and soft synths with more intense beats adds contrast and interesting dynamics," Thorstvedt enthuses. "There's an androgynous character to it all."
A dedicated advocate of minimalism, Thorstvedt ensured that each song was constructed of a restricted number of elements, going as low as four tracks for the dreamlike opener 'Jár'. The beautiful simplicity is contrasted with layers of growling distortion which Thorstvedt marks out as a key technique: "Adding that bit of grit can really make sounds come alive and behave somewhat unpredictably."
With more PAN-AL music planned as well collaborations with other local creatives, the future looks bright for Alexander; "With this EP, I feel things are coming from a very natural place," Thorstvedt muses. "At least for my own sake, I find some calmness or escape in the PAN-AL music that is soothing. If other people can feel the same, that's amazing and humbling."