Loading Posts...

A Dichotomous Double Dose of Croatian Amor

Posh Isolation’s Loke Rahbek, here under the Croatian Amor moniker, took no break after releasing his 2016 Love Means Taking Action LP and has remained pretty active sometimes digging deeper into what he started with the aforementioned full-length, sometimes pushing his twisted realm of broken pop ambient and others (his first Editions Mego LP) going where he’s never been before.

Love Means Taking Action Remixes

Before going into his latest offering – I’d like to take a quick look at the great bunch who reworked Croatian Amor’s Love Means Taking Action. The original release was accompanied by a simplistic and effective website (http://lovemeanstakingaction.com/), that invited visitors to download a set containing the full source material used for the creation of this album, to do with it whatever they liked and send their work back. This album features the results of the experiment.

Half of the contributors are Posh Isolation family. Age Coin drop a heavy, almost tribal, beat-driven version of “Refugee”, Yen Towers’ “Any Lyfe” is a big, bass-y and broken break-beat banger with shattered melodies and barely piercing through the busy rhythmic scape of the piece. Love Means Taking Action’s finest “An Angel” was in the hands of KYO (last album reviewed here), who preserved the track’s fragility and reimagined as an epic (especially for a closing track) drone anthem in collaboration with another Posh Isolation affiliate Health And Safety.

We also have newcomers Why Be and Brynje. With lo-fi, almost vaporwave vibes in their tracks (especially in Why Be’s “Love Thirteen” video-game influenced rework), both really do sound as a future fit for the Danish imprint.

Last but not least are three special gems. Danish cellist CTM was a name I heard for the first time and her work on Octopus Web somehow works great with the very delicate and sparse electroacoustic piece by Félicia Atkinson. A total highlight on the record is Coil’s Drew McDowall’s take on “Love”. I’ve been discussing this record in my own track order, but I guess that’s the strongest point of both its remix version and the original – to make of it whatever you want.

This being said, I was surprised that the internet wasn’t really flooded with music that people made out of Rahbek’s really inspiring source material. I somehow expected more fuss, more (un)known artists exploring his realms, but other than a very good bootleg remix by Bulgarian artist evitceles, I didn’t come across anything.

A1) Brynje Värmland
A2) Age Coin Refugee (ACCA Version)
A3) Why Be Love Thirteen (Island Step)
A4) Yen Towers Any Lyfe
B1) CTM Octopus Web
B2) Felicia Atkinson Ma Langue La Premiere
B3) Drew McDowall Love
B4) KYO An Angel (feat. Health & Safety)

Finding People EP

Finding People and Love Means Taking Action (the original LP) are so different that actually they kind of feel alike. We’ve already agreed Croatian Amor is a project with a unique and contemporary look on ambient music, but what he does in Finding People is once again restructure his own approach. In interviews you often hear Rahbek talking about the oppressing routine of releasing records, and how, by the time a new one is out, it’s no longer fully representative of where an artist is at the moment. I guess everything around Love Means Taking Action (its source files being freely shared for further exploration) is a manifestation of this desire to just free oneself of everything and move forward.

So even if both records came out in quick succession, their differences and similarities are due to the time factor, which often restricts the artists to be as free as they want in terms of showing the listeners the shifts of their aesthetics and goals.

 

Highly atmospheric but highly broken as well, Finding People sees Croatian Amor in his most focused and song-based work so far. Vocals from all kinds of sources are heavily chopped and form a twisted dialog (Sky Walkers). The humane (and mundane) is very present throughout the whole record and this actually is the strongest reminder you’re playing music from the project. The reality is exposed and romanticized until it becomes surreal. Finding People sounds fairly accessible even though it represents bits of reality dissected reassembled and scattered among obscure music concrete bits, pop synth stabs, ambient atmospheres and found sounds.

Even though structure is key in Finding People, it is still unstable, fragmentary and emotional. Within this fragility I find its essence and no matter how broken, tired and eclectic the music sounds at times it follows its own twisted logic of building up tension. The EP is very physically winding up the listener and proves 20 minutes of music is totally enough to fuck you up real good.

I swear the self-titled piece can make even the clearest sky cry. Take these autotune vocals, you ambient purists.

Track list:

A1 Sky Walkers
A2 Keepers
B1 Breathe Into Me
B2 Finding People (Ft. Khalil)

Written by: Angel S.
Label: Pop Isolation