Last year Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen released the full length debut of their wonderful Kiasmos project on Erased Tapes, an absolutely intoxicating fusion of minimal piano and strings compositions with lush synths and techno flavored electronics. In the spring of 2015, the label released Looped in a vinyl edition for Record Store Day. This gem of an EP, which is still available as a digital download, includes one track from the album and selected reworks contributed by Dauwd and Lubomyr Melnyk.
For those not already familiar with the Kiasmos sound, ‘Looped’ is a perfect entry point. Far from simply wrapping electronic layers around modern classical compositions, the artists inventively explored the space between these genres and created something uniquely organic and eminently listenable, paradoxically making a record that is as soothing as it is kinetic.
Made in Ólafur’s newly build studio in Reykjavík, Iceland, a majority of the album was recorded using acoustic instruments next to a variety of synthesisers, drum machines and tape delays. It features a live drummer, string quartet and Ólafur performing on the grand piano, producing an ambient, textured sound, which makes it a perfect home listen and equally danceable record. – Erased Tapes
On the first of the remixes, London based producer Dauwd reworks ‘Held’, supplanting the techno aspect of the Kiasmos sound with a distinctive house vibe imbued with all the warmth and sophistication for which he is known. Propulsive beats drive skittering percussion while the syncopated piano in the foreground shifts from modern classical to more of a jazz feel as he seamlessly steers the piece into the realm of differing genres.
The second is a breathtaking interpretation of ‘Burnt’ rendered by Lubomyr Melnyk in his signature continuous music mode in which he gives us a resplendent 12 minutes of constantly flowing notes played in an unbroken line. It is truly stunning making Looped a must have for piano music fans regardless of how they may feel about electronic music.
Listen to ‘Looped‘