Maaskant: Mere Oblivion (New Kanada)
Matthew Maaskant’s leftfield techno project is a breath of fresh air, with a focus on airy vocals comparable to the Venetian polychoral style, wherein spatially separate voices sing in alternation. The electronic arrangements of these tracks is a handsome accompaniment to Maaskant and his collaborator Yola Beru’s interweaving voices. The quick tempo and wet reverb of “Eyo Olkun” brings to mind a synthier, updated Arthur Russell, with Beru’s vocals weaving in and out of one another while a sparse arrangement of open fifth chord stabs and light percussion provides a light throb in the background.
“This Language” pushes even further toward indie pop with its incorporation of tom drumming and guitar, sounding closer to the sound of classic Factory Records than most current techno or house, again suggesting an affinity to the music of Arthur Russell. “Your Memories,” on the other hand, snaps back toward Balaeric disco but with a much dreamier quality, complete with languid guitar accompaniment and breezy vocals. All three cuts are really satisfying in different ways that are distinct yet difficult to describe. Highly recommended listening.