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Kratarknathrak - Solstice
Thursday, November 15 2007 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: Alan Milne


Artist: Kratarknathrak Netherlands

Title: Solstice

Label: New Darkness Recordings Netherlands

Genre: Ambient / IDM

01. Solstice
02. Dark Matter
03. Parsec
04. Cruising With Dr Phlox
05. Big Dipper
06. Epoche
07. Cryogenian
08. P-Brane
09. Les Donnes Informatiques
10. Hilbert Ruimte
11. A Rainy Day
12. Bunny

What do you think is the best innovation that has been brought out over the last hundred years? A rather wide timescale but it gives you plenty of choice. If you are an American perhaps you’ll go for friendly fire. Who needs allies anyway. If you’re German perhaps the 1940 Rail timetable. Getting the trains to run on time was a great idea. It was where they were going that was the problem. If you’re French you’ll go for the white flag. Well you have done every time you need to stand up and be counted so far. Myself I plump for Femfresh. Live up in the wilds of Scotland like I do and the women need all the assistance they can get. Soap and water isn’t in their vocabulary.

A strange introductory paragraph by even my standards but I needed to write something as I couldn’t access the website of the act called Kratarknathrak. Nor the one belonging to New Darkness Recordings. I’m still waiting. Bet its that old server problem. You see….I get pissed off and my thoughts turn elsewhere. Which means I go too near the knuckle sometimes. Being Dutch though I’m sure I haven’t offended the act or label with my remarks.

IDM. The biggest misnomer in the English language. Intelligent Dance Music…pardon!! If you re-named it Idiotic Dance Music then I might agree with you. I mean please. IDM…get to fuck. ‘Solstice’ by Kratarknathrak kind of falls into the IDM vibe. Though I would prefer to call it Light Ambient with rhythmic beats. Kratarknathrak is Pieter Winkelaar and this is his debut CD. Note I said CD as he has released music on cassette, CDR and vinyl before. Usually I would absolutely hate this form of music. In fact you would normally risk a stomping if you handed it to me in person. But you know I do like this recording. I’m damned if I can fully explain it, I will try further on, but this being the 14th review I’ve written over the past 7 days , where I’ve touched on many different genres of music, I find it such a nice come down from all the other releases I’ve had to immerse myself in.

I think, on reflection, that it works for me because I didn’t have to concentrate on it. The music just floats in a serene bath of gentle rhythms and atmospheric electronics that is absolutely perfect to relax to after a stress filled few days. I just sat totally at ease and let the music go wherever it wanted to take me. There was nothing too harsh on there to upset the harmony induced balance and I dug the whole vibe that Pieter had composed. ‘Solstice’ is the Labrador puppy of music. Cuddly and cute…until it shits in your shoe when your not looking. Work that one out yourselves. Here then is twelve tracks of IDM…blurgh…inspired music, complete with a few samples and robotic voices, in a light ambient setting that you too will find very easy on the ear and mind.

As someone not into this scene, I can’t give you any comparisons to other acts as I don’t know any, I’m not sure how this rates alongside other releases of the same ilk. Maybe that’s the point. Don’t judge it with others. Just slip inside the relaxing horizontal inducing, I fell asleep through each play which shows how soothing it actually is, beats and atmospheres and awaken refreshed for the more demanding musical challenges ahead. Play this after listening to something by Necroanal and you’ll understand exactly what I mean. File ‘Solstice’ under chill out in your record collection so you’ll always know where it is when you need it. Nice all round.


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