Space Afrika: Somewhere LP
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Ambient duo Space Afrika offer a bird's-eye view of the city center at night with Somewhere Decent To Live; their keenly anticipated first album on Sferic -- the Manchester-based label they run in conjunction with Will Boyd. Taking gaseous form as a series of dark blue hues and electromagnetic sub-bass impulses, the vibe inside is delectably elusive. Unlike their previous transmissions on Where To Now? and Köln's LL.M., the pair's dancefloor urges are dissolved in favor of suggestively mutable ambient frameworks this time, leaving the kicks in the club whilst they appear to float overhead like the dead kid embarking his Bardo in Gaspar Noé's Enter The Void (2010). Unshackled from dancefloor needs, but still inspired and feeding off its spirit and romance, the pair respectfully acknowledge the undercurrents of jungle, dubstep, ambient techno, and deep house which feed into their home city's late-night economy, dowsing their tributaries back to dub and rendering the findings in a quiet, modestly lush ambient haze with a flawlessly anesthetizing effect. In firm but gentle style they feel out eight interlinked headspaces, drifting like spectral flaneurs from the Diversions-like opener "uwëm/creation" to intercept telepathic thoughts from Teutonic friends in the percolated subs and drizzly ambient clag of "sd/tl", before arriving at the most arresting moment in their catalog thus far with the masterfully widescreen yet immersive "bly" and its sublimely smeared timbral thizz. The second half of the record subsequently describes a more inward journey from wistful loops in "u+00B1" to the sylvan two-step of "gwabh" and "curve", featuring Echium, ultimately culminating in the echo chamber melt of "dred". RIYL: Jan Jelinek, Huerco S, Detroit Escalator Company, The Connection Machine. Master and lacquer cut by Pole at Scape Mastering.