[New Music] SOHN – Tremors

AvatarWritten by New Music, News, Radar 2014, Review, Video

Two thousand fourteen is gearing up to be a monstrous year for music in every genre possible. From R&B to rock’n’roll via techno and hip-hop / rap. The trend, it seems, has somehow shifted to actually producing and pushing for interesting acts and some rather promising artists onto the forefront.

We’ve been on the edge of our seat for the last few months, over a year and 5 months to be precise. Waiting for remixer extraordinaire SOHN to finally peep his head out of the darkness, step into the limelight a little and just shine through everyone’s souls for a minute, or two.

Thankfully, I’d had a few teasers/tasters at the beginning of last year pertaining to his live shows. Opening for a magnificent set by James Blake at the Cité de la Musique, here in Paris, SOHN gave the audience what can be described as a tidal wave of electronic sound waves. That kept bouncing beautifully off the auditorium walls in that venue. Before that July gig, I’d vaguely heard of a Brit, who had left the motherland to emigrate over mainland Europe, in Vienna,  Austria and who was an absolute king at remixing other artists and bands.

So there I was, crawling the internet for hours on end, looking for that so called “Prod. Wizard”. I soon find out his stage name was in fact SOHN. And lo and behold, had a few original tracks to his name lying around on the internet, like “The Wheel” EP, with two great tracks like “Warnings” & “Oscillate“. In fact, two tracks that led me to, fall for his talent first and foremost and to think to myself : ‘Hold on a minute… This guys has some pretty neat nuggets here, how come he’s not…’.

And, by the time I had finished this sentence, back in December 2012, SOHN had signed a record deal with indie powerhouse 4AD and set to remix a few of the artists in their rather prolific catalogue. Those remixes included Banks’s rather impressive “Waiting Game” and new favorite of ours named Kwabs’s “Last Stand”, the later is set to release an album sooner rather than later I’m told.

Finally came the eagerly awaited announcement of an upcoming album. Slotted for release on the 7/8th of April 2014 and the string of promotional stunts launched for his debut album : “Tremors” in tow.

It’s impressive to see the actual development of an artist from the beginning right up to the moment he/she steps on the first headlining tour of his music career. It “only” took  a year for SOHN to put the finishing touches to the impressive Tremors I am about to attempt a review at. I’m biased in so many ways. But hell with that. I’m going to give it go nonetheless.

Tem·pest  (tĕm′pĭst) : noun. 1/ A violent windstorm, frequently accompanied by rain, snow, or hail. 2/ Furious agitation, commotion, or tumult; an uproar.

“Tempest” is the opening track from SOHN‘s debut album Tremors. A rather bold choice if you ask me. A statement in place to skim through any distracted listeners. Either to get their attention straight away, with those broken first few seconds. Or rather inviting them elsewhere, urging them to get ready before sitting down and giving the music a proper listen when they are ready. When SOHN is certain to have captured the audience’s full attention. From our point view this track showcases some inviting vocals, slowly clouding our vision and drawing easy electronic elements as boundaries map the world. Some invisible, some clearly marked.

As the album steps on to track n°2, debut single “The Wheel”. Maybe our least favorite of the pack, but quite possibly the most crowd pleasing out there in the wild. It is carefully, meticulously crafted percussion lines and some of the most interesting production skills of his generation. SOHN is here to shine. For long. The intricacy of the approach is baffling. lean your head one way, you’ll hear stuff you didn’t hear at the previous play. How he uses the downtimes between two lyrics to fill it with more subtle arrangements means you will not get tired of the track or the album in its entirety for that matter.

Sohn-tremors-FINAL

SOHN is a hot commodity these days. Everyone wanting his services on the producing duties. With “Artifice” and on with “Bloodflows”, the soulfulness of his voice, the darkness that permeates. Results in one of the most coherent albums I’ve heard in a long time. You expect the kind of track that will come next. Yet, SOHN was ahead of the bend, and believe me he is. The austrian expat waits for you to come round, grabs you and transports you way beyond where you initially thought he’d take you.

Contract Killer Prose
Calmly walks away as blood flows
Open, the wound grows
Melts away the water froze

That feeling alone, would be enough to persuade you to get your hands on his debut album, and even better, get your – pretty – self over for some enchantment journey into his dark realm at a live show of his. You’ll be amazed at how infectious his tracks are, and live the dimension just sucks you into a comfortable void.

listen to early work from SOHN
[mp3-jplayer dload=”n” tracks=”SOHN – Warnings@https://sodwee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Warnings.mp3, SOHN – Oscillate@https://sodwee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Oscillate.mp3″]

 

WARNINGS

I know it's late but I'd like to know
 How you wanna play this out
 The chemistry that you're letting go
 Could've brought a change about
If it suddenly comes back to haunt us
 I know I, I did my best
 If collectively we here the warnings
 We'll be fine, we'll be fine
... hesitation ... be gone
 Take the wind out of my sails
 A cleaner slate or a blank page
 Let the natural come out

OSCILLATE

Hold fire hostage
 Come back to the rain
 Don't fight for logic
 It can be yours again
 Somehow and somewhere
 Over sea and shame
 You crawl back to find out
 Can we oscillate ?
Oh the heart of mine you know
 Love is only blind if we
 Defy light for darkness
 Defy light for darkness
 Oh heart of mine you see
 Clean breaks and make-believe
 Defy light for darkness
 Defy light for darkness

It’s one of these great albums. An album you highly recommend to friends. Listen twice, three times over before fully understanding and sometimes, you’re left with more questions than answers. The first play can be tricky. However, you’ll be hooked, drooling for more from the following spins. Father got trapped. Currently converting his entourage to that English man in Vienna.

Spinning the two provided tracks (above) will give you a pretty good idea of what SOHN can achieve for your state of mind.

Tracklist
  1. Tempest
  2. The Wheel
  3. Artifice
  4. Bloodflows
  5. Ransom Notes
  6. Paralysed
  7. Fool
  8. Lights
  9. Veto
  10. Lessons
  11. Tremors

next European dates

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Last modified: April 4, 2014

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