Axel Boman, Black Magic Boman EP

[Hypercolour]


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Axel Boman is one of those producers we don’t see enough of. While his leftfield, unpredictable approach to electronic music has proven consistently engaging since his breakthrough release on Koze’s Pampa Records back in 2010, solo EPs have proven few and far between since then, with 2012 being a particularly barren spell. One such explanation is that he’s been locked away in the studio putting the finishing touches to his phantom LP for Glasstable Music, an LP that was originally set to follow shortly on from 2011’s Lucky Tiger EP. Indeed, that release proved his last solitary foray. Fitting, then, that he should mark his comeback with a four-tracker on Hypercolour, the elder statesmen of the label group.

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As ever, Boman brings a veritable smorgasbord of sonic styles to the table. “Television People” is sultry techno of the highest order, with sinuous synths snaking their way seductively between candid offerings on the philosophy of rhythm and sound. So fluidly do the elements intertwine, each mutating and dancing of their own accord, that one gets the impression the record possesses a mind of its own. This is Boman at his very best, forging tracks that make sense at every turn. If “Television” represents the sordid night, then “Cubic Mouth” captures the beauty of sunrise, leaving all notions of sex at the door. Expertly conveying the more sensitive side to Boman’s game, light, mellifluous synths bounce merrily over a ripe framework, bringing back distant memories of “Not So Much” from that Pampa release. “Look What You’ve Done to Me” builds on these delicate foundations, crafting an intense, harmonious palette of cloudy pads, crisp morning stabs, and brooding synths. There’s not as much personality on show here, but nevertheless charming enough.¬†Closing out the release with suitable loftiness is “Klinsmann,” which, like “Television People,” presents us with Boman at his most adventurous and, in this case, most polarizing. Few will argue with the slow, beautifully tempered warmth of the track’s groove; it’s more what follows that will divide opinion. The subsequent male vocal offerings may strike many as too sweet, as a step in the direction of over-sentimentality, while others will deem them pretty and felicitous. Either way it makes for a curious finale for what is an incongruous, if at times captivating, return for the Swedish house master. Now, Axel, let’s have that album.

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