Northallsen – The Path Of Nomads
(Northallsen Records, 2021-06-30)
With a first announcement on the 15th of January, the release has been long overdue. Sure, it celebrates five years of Colombian Aleja Sanchez’s label Northallsen Records, five years of adventure, particularly palpable for those who have experienced it in the first place, the label’s team, and also for its followers, who have been living interesting emotional rides in the label’s nature park.
Northallsen Records has been particularly prolific during its first years, with more than two releases per month in 2018 for instance, much less in the following years, nevertheless always with a high consistency of well-designed deep and intense pieces. We remember in particular the ghostly “Cauchemar EP“, by A Thousand Details, the massive “Terra Firma” and “Humility” by Tekra, who doesn’t stop surprising us, the superb “Flickering Lights” by Sqeef, containing one of Sanchez’s greatest remixes, and the impressive “El Resplandor de Los Ciervos” by herself and Dino Sabatini. Our all-time favourite “Northallsen record” remains “El Tiempo del Sueño“, by Sanchez and Reggy Van Oers, teaming up like two dancers performing in a perfect symbiosis around one deep sound.
“The Path Of Nomads”, blowing out five candles and pending for more than five months, ultimately brought a high expectation, that four tracks only – which is pretty short for a VA – could potentially not fulfil, but then, a look at the line-up quickly wipes out such consideration: Oscar Mulero, Aleja Sanchez, CHPTR, Mike Parker reunited in one release… Like an elegant Italian enthusiast would say: “Mamma Mia!”.
The EP is simply phenomenal.
“Self-determination” by Mulero brings the hypnotic techno Spanish school in front: PoleGroup, with both its leader and sound engineer, invites itself to Colombia with an efficient dancefloor banger. A detail: it’s been a long time since we haven’t heard such a hot break in a track, to listen loud at 2 min.
The second track, by Aleja Sanchez herself, confirms her solid evolution. She reached – for us – a particular artistic turning point with her track “Epona” released in 2019 on Affin, and proves one more time with “Symbolicus Transmutation” that she belongs to the deep scene’s top artists. The track kicks off with a mind-bending bassline and builds up on an epic journey, well driven by the 4/4 beat.
The third track, “Apodictic Certitude”, brought CHPTR back into the studio and it’s quite something: CHPTR is the duo of geniuses – RVO and Deepbass – that “people wish to listen to more often”. It’s been two years since we haven’t heard anything from them since their resounding album “Narrative” and each of their new releases ultimately brings attentive listening. “Apodictic Certitude”, with its subtle atmosphere and marvellous musicality, builds an instant connection to the music and is one more monument produced by the two close friends.
Last but not least, Mike Parker makes… some Mike Parker; what he is the best at: an electrifying polyrhythmic track, including new work on the acid spirals he’s known for. The American producer was already impressing Donato Dozzy back in the Elettronica Romana’s years in the second half of the 2000s, so chances are that he will keep on fascinating people in the 2020s, including ourselves.
The release is conceptualised under the topic of “migration” through its title, its beautiful artwork and press description. Out of it comes an urgent need for escape, made possible thanks to the will to move or – if not – at least through music. It potentially mirrors what a lot of Colombian people must currently have in mind while facing their difficult times, as well as all of us, who have found in travelling – geographically and/or musically – a way to fly away from the harsh reality.
WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 5 JULY 2021