Holkham / Stendec / Myrakaru – Komatta saru / A study of and / Tammetoru

Before I started writing the reviews for these new releases I had never heard of any of the artists nor the label. Apparently I seriously missed out on something worthwhile. The expanding records label seems to focus on the gap between composed ?electro-acoustic? music, and more accessible electronic dance or ambient music.

The three artists, Holkham, Stendec and Myrakaru all present their debut album here, so it is not really surprising that I did not hear of them before. What is surprising, however, is the music of these people. All releases share a quality and subtleness that I must say is quite astonishing. The three CD?s all contain a mix between electronic sound composition and more idm-oriented rhythms and melodies (think Autechre, Funckarma, Einoma or Apparat).

The CD by Holkham is called ?komatta saru? (I have no idea what that means). The brain behind Holkham is Simon Keep, who apparently did commercial sound design for Saab, the BBC and Nike. It is obvious that Simon has had some experience in the field of electronic music, since this debut is really subtle and very well arranged and processed. The overall atmosphere is quite relaxed and easy going, and sometimes a bit alien (because of his weird sounds which remind me of Einoma or later Autechre). Watch out for his upcoming album on Sub Rosa.

Stendec is the project of Ben Edwards and Paul Merritt, apparently the owners of the expanding records label. On this ?debut? CD called ?a study of and? are some tracks from previous vinyl releases and compilations. The other tracks are new. The overall atmosphere is a bit darker than the other two releases, and contains more influences of Biosphere?s cold arctic ambient and of the clicks and cuts scene. The beats are also a bit more present, but the album does not lose its subtle ambient feeling.

Myrakaru is a project from two Estonians called Indrek Tamm and Joel Tammik, who work separately from each other and then re-work each other?s ideas. This process seems to work very well, because the ?tammetoro? CD contains a lot of fine melodies and beats. It is easily the most ?idm? influenced CD of these three releases (think Funckarma or Apparat).

All three releases come highly recommended if you like subtle, beautiful and relaxed idm-electronic music. The musical style and artwork of the releases makes this label into a nice series, which I am sure will appeal to many people. I will try to catch up with their previous releases for sure.

artist: Holkham / Stendec / Myrakaru
label: Expandingrecords
details: Holkham -? komatta saru CD [ecd 14:04]Stendec - a study of ?and? CD [ecd 15:04]Myrakaru ?- Tammetoru CD [ecd 16:04]