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ANDREW PEKLER - Sounds From Phantom Islands LP


ANDREW PEKLER - Sounds From Phantom Islands LP

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Limited edition of 300 copies.

Gently atmospheric Fourth World trips enhanced by an imaginative concept.

As a regular collaborator with Jan Jelinek, Pekler has also shared the German producer's interest in exotica music. One line of enquiry was 2016's Tristes Tropiques on Faitiche, an album of vivid biomes teeming with life and coloured with alien yet soothing synth wriggles, not unlike the original exotica of the '50s. Inspired by the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss' accounts of travel amongst native people in Brazil, Pekler's aim was to create "synthetic exotica, pseudo-ethnographic music and manipulated field recordings," and he did so to great effect.

Sounds From Phantom Islands finds Pekler returning to an old idea, musically at least. If you were a fan of Tristes Tropiques, you'll be pleased to find yourself tripping back into the fantastic ecosystems Pekler sculpts via what sounds like modular synthesis. There is, however, a new concept behind the record, born from a project Pekler created with Flavio Gortana and Stefanie Kiwi Menrath.

Phantom Islands – A Sonic Atlas is an interactive online map, which shows dozens of islands, recorded by early cartographers and explorers, that didn't exist, disappeared or couldn't be found. Each one of these mystery land masses has a unique story (and piece of music). Pepys Island, for example, was likely a misidentification of the Falkland Islands. Visitors to Taprobana, first described in writing in 290 AD, could expect to find "man-eating ants that guard mountains of gold."

The mood on record, however, feels different from what you hear navigating the map, even though the tracks are sourced from the sounds Pekler created for the project. When Hy Brasil appears on the interactive map the music has a spooky, mirage-like quality, but the corresponding track on the album melts around your ears with mellifluous ease. The melodic phrases feel more pronounced than anything on Tristes Tropiques, rising and falling in orchestrated swells over a bed of fidgeting insect life.

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