Alkor: Where Tomorrow Ends

Alkor: Where Tomorrow Ends

Introduction

Artist: Alkor
Title: Where Tomorrow Ends
Release Date: 28 Jan, 2017
Genre: Downtempo / IDM
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Kahvi Collective

Adam Dzuiba is a long time electronic musician and producer from Poland.  Where Tomorrow Ends is his first new release on Kahvi Collective since 2009’s Still Before The Sunset.  His return release offers a mystifying sound-scape that many long time fans will enjoy.

Where Tomorrow Ends

On this release, Alkor’s music is rhythmic, layered, and intricate.  He builds contrapuntal elements to provide a relaxing, hypnotic element to his pieces. Starting with a simple theme and adding layers of rhythm, counterpoint, and harmony he takes the listener on hypnotic journeys.

Take the opening track, Five Levels of the Deep for example.  The track opens with a simple five note ascending progression.  Long sustained notes add a base to the initial figure. Light percussion is added to counter the original progression.  By adding more layers, the original is transfigured.  The culmination of this progression is the feeling of being submersed under water.

Production Style

Much of the success of Alkor’s style lays in his production abilities.  Some artists pile layers of sound on top of each other until they become a dense mass. However Alkor is very adept at providing each layer it’s own space to avoid such density. By providing space, he defines the relationship between each layer. The relationships focus the interaction between each part of the composition.  This serves his music to: add additional clarity to the structure of the piece, and focus the listener on the interactions, and avoid potential collisions between the parts of the compositions.

However, this production style does bring out a couple of weaknesses.  The first is my nostalgic for some similar sounding old Klaus Schulze recordings.  Certainly being compared to an electronic music master is not bad. But in this case it points to a production style that was prevalent nearly thirty years ago. Then I noticed some of the patches (instruments) sounded like were a bit aged. Some have a dull, flat edge to them that seems a little out of place.

Yet, if it took a round of nostalgia induced reflection for me to notice these points. And, I did notice something else: the production is smoother than the releases I am comparing it to. I believe this is a combination of the evolution of production technology and instrument patches, and the evolution of the music itself.  In the hands of Alkor, the application of subtle production techniques brings out more in the music.

Conclusion

Alkor has produced a release that pushes many buttons for me: classic sound production, excellent minimal / ambient musical style, strong structured pieces. These works brought out a bit of nostalgia in me which lead to the discovery of a couple of weaknesses in the aging of some of the sounds and production.  However, these weaknesses were easily set aside when considering the level of subtlety achieved throughout this recording, that shows a mastery of the relationship between musicality and production.

 

Alkor: Where Tomorrow Ends

5
Alkor: Where Tomorrow Ends
9.1666666666667

Music

9/10

    Arrangements

    10/10

      Recording

      9/10

        Pros

        • Strong compsotions
        • Minimal / Ambient
        • Hypnotic
        • Nostalgia Inducing

        Cons

        • Slight aging to production style
        • Slight aging of some patches