After enjoying Jan's most recent release "Flowertraces" I was compelled to seek out more of the Russians discography but given the steep record price, I refrained from splashing out and completing my collection, instead I picked up this record first and it turned out to be a very different from my expectations.
"Around And Above" comes from the same universe as "Flowertraces", but is very much on a different level. Its dreary, bleak and moves at a snails pace through tracks driven by atmosphere which lack the charm or depth to engage. That may be a little harsh, but the opening tracks and others in the listening drone through pleasant, chilled, dreamy soundscapes that lack a point or direction. Its an ambiance that drifts under the listener instead of through them. A couple of tracks offered a spark of energy and engagement but most of the record I found myself awaiting the next track. I don't want to be too critical, its supposed to be on a calmer, softer level, but it crosses a personal threshold.
Despite a lack of engagement, the records aesthetic is gorgeous. A calm lull of pristine sounds that gracefully drift through the tracks like clouds on a placid day. Theres moments where the record perks up with a beat accompanied by the glitched out electronic noises that where a big characteristic of "Flowertraces". The instrument pallets used on the two records are almost identical, however the ideas behind them are very much not. Its an inoffensive record that misses the mark and the charming, dazzling aesthetics can't save from the bland and dull nature of these songs.
Favorite Songs: L'âme, Lettur But Mikill, We Believe In Humans