There’s an otherworldly feeling that Ametrom’s music evokes. The mind behind this project, David Bolster, has gathered numerous inspirations over the years, such as IDM, House and electroacoustic, whilst also working as a producer. Starting off with his first foray into releasing music as Idle in the early 2000’s, he transitioned into Ametron, launching the debut full-length album In The Morning in 2006.
Atelier Elektro, the newly released third album, is a very interesting one. It feels relaxing, whilst also retaining an upbeat, lively mood. There are constant changes in pitch and tone, at times even toying with our expectations, to satisfying results. It was described to me as ‘space disco’, and I’d say that’s pretty much spot-on. It’s easy to envision an exploration of the solar system whilst listening to this record, as if it were an intergalactic party.
There are constant changes in pitch and tone, at times even toying with our expectations, to satisfying results.
“Sun Yata” gets the listener straight into the action with an upbeat synth melody. There are a ton of retro and sci-fi moods that this creates, with pleasant moments of a more ambient nature. If I were to close my eyes whilst listening to this I could picture myself navigating an alien landscape in low gravity. “Herastrau” is a much slower paced track in comparison, and extremely relaxing. The distorted piano and flute arrangements mingle in amongst the electronic elements, giving it a charming mood. It gradually keeps building upon itself in different ways to give the track interesting textures, but never feels overwhelming or too busy. “Women” continues with the chilled out atmosphere. This is also the first track to contain vocals. The slight hint of melancholy within the vocal delivery, combined with a laid back feeling compliments the instrumental parts of the music. It’s simple and straightforward in it’s presentation, but changes in tone throughout to keep it interesting. A synth solo at the end serves as a lively outro. “Wayby” starts of very minimalistic, before a tribal drumbeat kicks in. Expectations are subverted, as a catchy electro hook drives the song forward, evolving into a fantastic beat. There’s some great basslines within it’s 5 minute 39 second time-frame too, and there’s many shifts in atmosphere as it progresses. A definite highlight for me. Deep pulsing synths and bass sound very 80’s in “Zizkov Nights”, having a dark disco feel to them. It’s an addictive hook too, and this track proves that sometimes less is more, because even though there’s not a lot going on, it remains captivating. Yet again, the vocals match the feeling of the track beautifully, capturing a moodier essence.
Layers here are used extremely wisely, and even though it’s presented in a minimalistic way, there’s still a ton going on. It’s yet another very memorable song on this record, feeling euphoric at times. – “Galactic Breakdown”
“Galactic Breakdown” continues synth theme from the previous track. It’s has a great build-up, and it’s easy to tell that it’s leading to something. When it does kick in, it’s yet another mesmerising beat. Layers here are used extremely wisely, and even though it’s presented in a minimalistic way, there’s still a ton going on. It’s yet another very memorable song on this record, feeling euphoric at times. The retro vibes continue in “Cerulean Skies” with a simple, atmospheric melody, as bleepy, progressive ambience echoes in background. It has an atmosphere that is easy to get drawn into, with hypnotic vibes, and vocals that feel almost soothing. The continuous rhythm to “Velvet Beginnings” has a pleasing feeling to it. There’s something about the pacing of the song that makes it so gripping, and it would certainly make for excellent travelling music. I’m sure this will make it’s way onto one of my travelling playlists, for when I go out on those long adventures. Changes in tone really help to spruce things up here, adding in some livelier moments, whilst others are more meteorological. Somehow “Streetlights” manages a cheery feeling. There’s something uplifting about the music, even if there’s a hint of uncertainty in it’s lyrical content, which is expressed extremely well vocally. It’s probably the layers of upbeat and unusual electronic sounds, combined with distant guitar melodies that creates this mood. Closer “Europe” has a rich, full sound to it. The drumbeat and melodic elements blend to create a sense of urgency. These give way to the main beat, which is once again enrapturing. It’s a very energetic note to finish on, the arpeggios within creating an excellent blend of hypnotic soundwaves.
It’s as if being drawn into another world, or more aptly, another galaxy. It feels like a coherent journey, and each track captures the mood of the exploration as it transpires with the passing of time.
What really impresses me about Atelier Elektro is how this record consistently balances so many different moods. In just 50 minutes, it treads a lot of ground, going through many shifts and transformations. The album flows extremely well, the consistency giving it a very robust atmosphere, which is bound to capture the attention of listeners. There’s a retro finesse that it pulls off. It’s as if being drawn into another world, or more aptly, another galaxy. It feels like a coherent journey, and each track captures the mood of the exploration as it transpires with the passing of time. The sprinkling of vocals works effectively too, adding a nice curveball into the mix. It feels like this is utilised in perfect balance, complimenting the continuity, rather than being a hindrance. Throughout all this, there’s also plenty of danceable beats and rythms that are bound to get people moving.
Overall, Atelier Elektro is a gratifying listening experience. It’s relaxing, lively and upbeat all in one package. The space-like feel it captures makes it all the more engrossing, and gives the music a fantastic aesthetic. The mood it creates makes this the perfect album to listen to in the summer months, even though it’s more likely to make you daydream about worlds beyond the stars, rather than sunny beaches.
Final Verdict: An album that is extremely satisfying to listen to, and is likely to draw you in with it’s space disco atmosphere. It will entice you with it’s retro sounds, to the point where you’ll be daydreaming about life beyond the stars.