Further Records cofounder Mark Cul's interest in cassette tapes, as he explained to RA's Will Lynch earlier this summer, was an outgrowth of taking weed breaks from the dance floor in his car. These respites in the parking lot are a pretty good ritualistic metaphor for the kind of music the label coaxes out of its growing roster of A-list electronic musicians: It's the hazy, somewhat altered sound of producers taking a quick breather from their dance floor obligations. But unlike so much stoner drivel, Further tapes from the likes of Lerosa, Aybee, and Donato Dozzy have been among these producers' best, most on-point material.
Swedish producer Anders Ilar, a veteran of Shitkatapult and Echocord, has the kind of IDM-informed, downtempo-leaning impulses that make the distance he has to travel to the parking lot somewhat smaller than that of his aforementioned Further peers. Thus, Ilar's latest full-length and (not surprisingly) first entry into the limited-edition cassette market, Vidare, doesn't feel like it's stretching as much as some of Further's other tapes, though it mines similar depths. Featuring unreleased material from as far back as 2000, Vidare finds Ilar at his most contemplative, varied and immersive. As fittingly stoned an album as it is, it's also among the label's (and 2010's) most heartfelt.
Vidare begins with firm, forceful bass pulses and Vangelis-like, retro-futurist textures. But Ilar's beats soon slow down and become chunkier, and his cinematic melodies veer away from science fiction toward more romantic fare. As someone used to hearing music that goes deep in search of newer, weirder funkiness—deep for deepness's sake, perhaps—Ilar's heart-on-sleeve approach was at first off-putting and seemed over the top, but the sheer quality of his craft quickly won me over. From the pairing of throbbing strings and clanking, shuffling percussion on the A-side's second half to the B-side's long stretches of near-beatless pulses, Vidare exudes feeling, without irony or apology, from the soundscape's numerous nooks and crannies.
Further cassettes both sound and look like they arrived from someplace else, be it some vague past or weird extra-dimension. Vidare, rooted in early ambient soundscapes and a Warp roster of yore, has this in spades, though it perhaps isn't blessed with the sort of incidental coolness of Lerosa's Dual Nature or Aybee's Ancient Tones. Yet in its propensity for going deep, the album certainly finds a foothold in the zeitgeist. I suspect it'll earn an extended stay in your car's tape deck as well.
Tracklist: Anders Ilar - VidareSide A
03. Fallen Majesty
05. A Message From Our Sun
06. Poison Sunset
08. Wooden Handprints
01. Third Eruption
02. Things Never Said
03. Shores of Jupiter
04. Anymore feat. Jimmy Halvarsson
05. Blink & Miss
06. From Here to Yesterday
07. Not America
08. Friends Forever
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