Edgeland

Brin Olson

Conny Olivetti, the Swedish Master alchemist of sound, presents his follow up to the marvellous ‘Strategems’. Edgeland is a captivating creation albeit, considerably darker this time around. Perhaps its not such a brave new world maybe More a grave new world. The atmospheric, bubbling, broody beats of ‘Arrival’ slip nicely into the casual groove of ‘Insights From The Past’ and ‘Plantar Flexion’ is bright, quirky electronica. After The dark yet serene ‘Music Of Stars’ and metal-machine, disembodied voices on ‘Time And Space’ and doom-laden ‘Act Of Passing Over’, some delightful, squeaky dance-ability on ‘Involuntary Body Movements’. ‘Solitary Resting Place’ is a deep beautiful piece of moody imagery and the delightfully named ‘Old Chuntingyard’ is like a mystical out of body experience. A nod in the direction of Kraftwerk on ‘Insights From The Future’ and ‘Departure’ and a cough, bring the album to a fine conclusion.
Edgeland is Conny olivetti at the cutting edge. Wonderful.
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Ian Pope
edgeland – another great album! Well done Leif!
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Ian McCartney
Having given Edgeland several spins in a variety of different settings, headphones on and off, travelling and in the house, I now feel in a position to put some thoughts on paper.

First of all, this album feels to me to be a relative to moToRiK, albeit a cousin you only see from time-to-time at family gatherings, as opposed to an inseperable brother, yet the bonds are deep and strong. The familial DNA (Kraftwerk influences, driving beats, insistent voiceovers) are unavoidable, most notable on tracks like Insights From the Past (a knowing wink in the title, perhaps?) and Time & Place (again, a time-based reference?), yet there is enough of the more atonal direction shown in some post-moToRiK collections to ensure this is clearly not a clone.

There’s also a level of real playfulness on tracks like Plantar Flexion – which could easily find it’s way onto some Orb albums without too many eyebrows being raised – and Involuntary Body Movements that give this album a real character of its own.

Solitary Resting Place and The Old Chuntingyard hint at a darker place occupied by Dark Ambient artists such as Reigns, giving a real contrast in texture and flow.

Personal highlight for me, though, is Insights From The Future, a track which manages to encapsulate all the various components to the album which I’ve tried to describe above in one single track. It’s incredibly evocative – distant yet highly personal – and a track which often manages to make me stop in my tracks upon hearing it.

Once again, this is great stuff, and another reason to wonder why this music isn’t heard by the wider audience it deserves.

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Peter Brown
Again amazing fidelity, but as you say yourself, a bit more analog-y. I do love the rhythms a lot. It’s definitely warmer whilst not totally eroding the great electronic sheen your recordings have. Lovely. It’s interesting taking the journey with you. Fascinating to wonder  what the next release will bring …

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Fredrik Jonasson

Conny Olivettis senaste fullängdare kom till min brevlåda för ungefär en månad sedan och det är som vanligt en angenäm upplevelse som denne extremt produktive artist levererar. Jag har dock inte ett helt oproblematiskt förhållande till albumet, som både är ett steg framåt och ett tillbaka.

Det var inte speciellt länge sedan jag skrev om Olivettis förra alster, Stratagems. Den plattan höll jag då som den starkaste plattan han släppt och jag tror att jag gör det fortfarande. Stratagems var ett steg mot ett mer poppigt låtlandskap, även om ordet ”poppigt” i det här fallet är högst relativt. Nya Edgeland går tillbaka till lite svårare spår och väldigt mycket röstsamplingar.

Conny Olivetti har alltid gjort välproducerad musik med ett fantastiskt sound. Den här gången låter det bättre än någonsin i mitt tycke. Själv säger han att han strävat efter ett ”skitigare” sound och det kan man kanske kalla det. Väldigt organiskt och levande med ett mycket mer analogt sound än vad det egentligen är.

Av de elva låtarna på albumet är det de mest lättillgängliga som jag gillar bäst. Favoriterna är Insights From the Past, Time and Space, Involuntary Body Movements, Insights from the Future och den avslutande Departure, med sina asiatiska klanger. Resten av låtarna låter inte dåliga på något vis, men de drabbar mig inte på samma sätt som de tidigare nämnda.

Sammantaget rekommenderar jag Edgeland stenhårt om man gillar bra instrumental musik, men missa för hela friden inte Stratagems som alltså kom tidigare detta år.

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Simon Hewitt

I have really enjoyed listening to the album. Was it planned as ‘segments of a whole’? Only it seems to flow very naturally from one piece into the next – indeed listening without paying attention to the track numbers (as one must when driving) there is a feeling of wholeness that is greater than the parts. The vocal samples are worked in well and the overall sound of the record is terrific – warm and encompassing, yet with dark and foreboding themes.

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Hasse Öman

Anslaget inledande “Arrival” bådar gott med sina ljusa och mörka ambienta klanger, för en snygg övergång till “Insights from the Past”, där ett distat beat tar över, tillsammans med ett riff från en tillika distad synt och över flyter diverse syntetiska ljud i ett molltonat arr…

Låten sätter en mörk stämning och ett sound som genomsyrar hela albumet – något som upptäckts och som metodiskt och målmedvetet studeras från alla upptänkliga vinklar – en samling bilder av samma miljö/objekt ur olika vinklar. Lite undantag är de lätt humoristiska “Plantar Flexion” och “Involuntary Body Movements”, men de är tragiskt roliga, lite som skrotroboten Wall-E i den industriskrotiga omgivningen. Jag hade gärna sett lite mer av variationen och lekfullheten från t.ex. Stratagems!

Tar man ut styckena del för del är det bra låtar, bitvis i toppklass – min favorit är det övertygande industrisoundet i “Time and Space” och trasiga “The Old Chuntingyard” – det är bara det att som helt album tycker jag det blir lite för överväldigande.

Jag var lite orolig över hur de annonserade intentionerna om “mer analogt och smutsigt” skulle påverka ljudet hos en kreatör som står för de mest dynamiska och detaljrika produktionerna jag känner till, men Edgeland låter bra! Det sakas lite i detaljer och djup för att lämna plats för de bredare distade ljuden, men förutom möjligen trum/synt-kombinationen i “Insights” så tillåts det inte gå över styr…

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Maarten van Valen

I spend a few weeks with this album, knowing it would have a damn hard time knocking Stratagems off its lofty perch. The opening track Insights From The Past has the same lovely intentions that Human Nature off the last album left off- a mighty sequenced riff over a dub-plated setting.
The following tracks are more of a soundtrack to some underground zombie movie- I was at times reminded of bands like Coil (Hellraiser Themes) and Trisomie 21 and the ways they knot dark ambient together. Tracks like Time & Space I can imagine on an Orb-release as it applies some of their ‘Towers Of Dub’-template. The blips and beat of Involuntary Body Movements bring a bit of lightness back but the remainder of the tracks go back to the austere nature that was created earlier…that’s until the Metamatic-like beat of Insights Into The Future (Suspended Re-Activation) brings a melodic highlight.

I found it more difficult to really get into this album than Stratagems (that album’s firmly in my top ten for the year), the standard was perhaps set so high that it couldn’t reach even if it wanted to. It certainly isn’t bad, the soundscapes are very creative but I like the melodic-Olivetti the best.

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Ges Sands

I like it even more than Stratagems, it somehow has a dirty, grungey (not as in Nirvana) feel which gives it a bit more humanity, a bit more soul than I get from most electronic music. I agree that Insights into the Future is the highlight (that one should be the single, Conny) but it’s the mood of the album overall that grabs me.

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Kevin Stout 

Dirty and Clean, Disturbing but Reassuring, New yet Familiar, Enlightening and Very Dark.

Have been giving this repeated listenings with the lights out. It is the stuff of wonderful cheese nightmares.

Another success from the home of the Svensk Alchemist.

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Erik Jonasson

Gillar verkligen också den nya plattan! Jag känner direkt att jag har hamnat i Conny Olivetti-land. Man kan aldrig riktigt veta var låtarna kommer att ta en med. Det som kan börja i malande maskinliknande ljud kan mynna ut i vackra svävande syntmattor som i sin tur kan bytas ut i ett hårt beat med röstsamplingar som klingar Kraftwerk. Och som vanligt är produktionen helt makalöst bra och låtarna skall absolut avnjutas i en följd. Om jag ska plocka några favoritlåtar får det bli Time & Space, Insights from the past och Departure. Jag tackar och bockar för ännu ett fantastiskt album och ser med spänning fram emot nästa släpp!
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Ante Edelmann

Vilken kanon-inledning med alla ljuden. Men då drog jag ju på för starkt för nästa låt…

Insights From The Past: Det är något i basen där som är mer ljud än ton, eller hur jag ska säga. Men själva låten är suggestiv och häftig. Tycker dock att slutet kunde ha varit mer tvärt.

Plantar Flexion: soundtrack till någon kommande Star Wars? Kul och bra.

Stars Of Music: Mycket soft, njutbar och väldigt bra. Passade bra att vara trum- och slagverksbefriad.

Time And Space: Bra. Men det känns bekant.

The Act Of Passing Over: Snudd på hypnotisk. Jättebra ljudblandning.

Involuntary Body Movement: Rytmiskt spännande och suverän. Jättebra ljudblandning igen.

Solitary Resting Place: Gillar! Lugn, meditativ och sparsmakad.

The Old Chuntingyard:  Jag undrar om den här låten inte skulle ha tjänat på något som på något sätt håller ihop alla olika grejor som händer i låten?

Insights From The Future (suspended re-activation part two): Bra. Men det känns bekant igen. Jag kanske har hört för mycket av C.O. med samplade monologer/dialoger?

Departure: Vilken jäkla final! Helt enkelt skitbra. Så snyggt och vackert. Begriper inte hur du får till det som inte kan ett skit om tonarter o dyl. Du måste ha ett jäkla öra.

Slutkommentar: Det är en kul grej det där med samplade dialoger från filmer. Men musikalist kan du lägga ner det och lita på din egen grej. Jäkla bra platta!

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Paul Kilgour
Far too disturbing to be hypnotic, Edgeland, the latest release from Conny Olivetti, may prove to be the evil, brooding twin to this year’s earlier release: Stratagems. Where Stratagems offered some semblence of hope in the form of tracks such as ‘A New Hope’ and ‘Human Nature’, Edgeland takes us down an altogether different road. One you don’t really want to be alone in at night. One filled with shadows you might get pulled into, crevasses you might get trapped in. Here there be monsters. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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Mikael Berglund
Så var det dags för en liten present igen från Conny Olivetti. Ca 42 minuters insyn i Conny Olivettis ljudvärld bjuds vi på denna gång i form av Edgeland. Jag tycker att Edgeland känns som en naturlig fortsättning på Stratagems som hade lite mer ljudkollageaktig stil blandad med de numera välkända tunga beatsen som kännetecknar verk av Conny Olivetti. Det blandas friskt med referenser till Kraftwerk (Insights From The Past) med helt nytt och även en gnutta humor som i Plantar Flexion. Trots den stilmässiga spridningen så hålls albumet ihop bra och känns rätt samlat och homogent vilket tillskriver jag den superba mixen och känslan för vad som passar ihop ljudmässigt. Allt sitter ihop så skivan bör avlyssnas från början till slut. Tummar och stortår i zenith.
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John-Erik Andersson

Connys nya nya cd dök ner i brevlådan igår. Alltså som gammal Cabaret Votaire freak så jublar jag högt. Conny kombinerar Kraftwek,Cabaret Voltaire och 80 procent Conny själv till ett ljudlandskap som för en till himmelska höjder. Vad gäller Conny så har han funnit en egen stil som bara blir bättre och bättre. Mixen är klockren. Keep upp the good work Conny.
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Mark Brougham

“Edgeland” is the latest CD release from Conny Olivetti, a musician and multi media artist who’s work I have followed for 11 years. I can assure you he has not mellowed in that time, he remains as crazy as ever.

The cover sums up the moods perfectly, the mood is chilly, the rhythms cold and precise, but that shouldn’t put anyone off. It is the perfect antidote to the overproduced factory press type pop music that you are generally spoon-fed through the radios. I wish John Peel, a fellow Scouser, was alive today. He would pick up Olivetti’s music and understand it. We have enough trash – no more please!

Don’t come here expecting “toons” that you can go away and whistle, that’s not what Herr Olivetti does, what he does do however is create moods and visual music, through the use of carefully calculated rhythms and structures. And he is fast becoming the primary user of the Vsti softsynth “Synplant”. This is the synth he uses to make the complex cross modulated noodles that replace melody. To put it politely, Olivetti likes to fuck with your mind. (When you hear those crazy cross modulated burbles, it is usually from the Synplant).

He knows when to break the mood, the opener starts with a super chilled pad with a white noise splash, this takes over and rhythms are constructed, the passage from track 1 to track 2 is seamless. The music takes minimalism to new places, and maybe uses Kraftwerk as a blueprint, but dares to strip away even more. The production has a very light fingered touch to it, and yes, the 50’s science fiction commentary is still there albeit less prominent. Olivetti says that this was a move to make the music dirtier and more analogue sounding. It certainly contains 45% extra grit, and the cross modulations are what you would expect to pour out of an old VCS3 synthesizer when you were pissed and the listener was on acid! When the fun did start, I was expecting a tune circa “Jazz from Space” instead I got modulated farting noises and post curry night burbles which replaced the melody! Play loud, and fuck with the neighbours minds, their dog never stops barking anyway so justice is done!

Another step in direction of Olivetti’s fading sanity, catch it soon before he is sectioned! You will not be disappointed. Don’t be scared, indulge in the music, play loud for best effect, and watch those window rattle…..

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Jim Mills

Conny – I love the album! It’s my favorite of yours so far, most definitely. I think I respond to the more thoughtful/ambient approach. It’s in the car, so I get a chance to listen to parts of it all the time — it’s been sort of the soundtrack to the last couple weeks.

I’m going to try to give you a more track-by-track comment in a bit, maybe next week. I really like the direction though.

Jimmy

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Robert Frampton-Fell

After only one listen, so far, one can detect suggestions of Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Can and, dare I mention, Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, (‘Creep/Creation’ on Galactic Zoo Dossier)? All these could be described as possible influences on this new music by Conny.

We’re presented throughout Edgeland with quirky weird sounds, kitchen sink noises, (reminiscent of some of the sounds on Ummagumma or was it Atom Heart Mother?), strong, deep pulsating rhythms and distant, ghostly, detached voices. At times, Edgeland appears chilling and eerie, at others chaotic and harrowing, nevertheless, the music constantly demands and captivates attention, commanding interest from start to finish until, finally, there is a release.

As usual Conny gives us something to think about and, although I’m not a huge fan of electronic music, one can easily determine compositional strengths and acknowledge the ability and skill of the fine musicianship throughout the piece. So, another quality piece from Conny – I enjoyed it and would recommend it to lovers of the genre.

Well done Conny.

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Stephen Carlsson

Conny Olivetti’s latest and very robust it is too.

It has more of an industrial feel than the last one – Strategm.

It will have to go some to beat his last but so far it sounds very robust.

The opener Arrival reeks of Roedelius – which in my book is a great thing!

Then onto Insights From the Past – Ralf & Florian would be proud!

Plantar Flexion is very quirky and almost Buggles like. Delightful.

Music of Stars is probably my fave track so far after one listen, although that may all change with further listenings, followed closely by Solitary Resting Place. I love the atmospheric stuff – very Brian and Roger Eno which in my book is top-notch!

The Old Chuntingyard – great title- revisits the industrial Plank sound…. Lovely

Other tracks not mentioned are all mighty fine.

The album finishes with Departure giving the whole album a thematic feel. Nice!

So, again young Conny – good lad- robust stuff!

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Jim McManus

Two listens in and it is another robust belter, like the way it flows. well done.

Edgeland – another Conny Classic

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John Roussety
first listen – very warm sounding (maybe what you meant by ‘dirty’)
in the same way that The Man Machine is warm.
Mollly went potty a the squealing noses about half way through.
lol
I liked that the vocal samples were more sparing on this disc.
And once again, full marks in the less-is-more dept.
Brevity is the soul of wit
I was iin the bath while it played – very enjoyable soundtrack to that!
I genuinely think it is his best yet.
It is warm and playful and has the right amount of extraneous
sampling and doesn’t outstay its welcome.
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One thought on “Edgeland

  1. Peter Brown says:

    Again amazing fidelity, but as you say yourself, a bit more analog-y. I do love the rhythms a lot. It’s definitely warmer whilst not totally eroding the great electronic sheen your recordings have. Lovely. It’s interesting taking the journey with you. Fascinating to wonder what the next release will bring …

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