Van Morph – Δ​α​ί​μ​ω​ν Ε​α​υ​τ​ο​ύ

Van Morph – Δ​α​ί​μ​ω​ν Ε​α​υ​τ​ο​ύ [Khoros Records, 2024-05-23]


Van Morph and Alexskyspirit, owners of Khoros Records, are today among the top producers of atmospheric techno, injecting impressive charisma into each of their productions, well-designed and infused with a distinct charm.

Additionally, Van Morph dares to flirt with melodic techno at times, resulting in the creation of beautiful tracks that leave a lasting impression, such as “Reliable Promises“, “Faith in You” and “Joyful Echoes.”

Van Morph is well-known in our community for his pure kindness and generosity, creating music from the depths of his heart. If you look closer, the word “heart” contains “art”, a particularly meaningful combination for an artist like him. While our critical ear eventually looks for more challenging music than what he produces, our list of criteria falls in front of such a beautiful personal and musical resonance.

This is partly because we know that behind the atmosphere stands a sensitive soul, whose studio either serves as a haven to expel some demons and escape reality’s harshness, as developed in a past review, or to spread some of his aura, more and more enlightened by rays of love. 

The progression is obvious in his discography, with early tracks titled “Lost in The Unknown” or “Escape From The Fog“, while the more recent ones contain lexical fields of love.

Outside of such consideration, it is yet important not to underestimate the strength that accompanies Van Morph’s touching vulnerability: he also has a strong-willed soul, fuelled with an unwavering passion that makes him unstoppable in achieving projects. This partly explains the charisma: Van Morph wins battles, release after release…

The broad spectrum between “love” and “pain” shall help you to understand the journey of his last album, “Δ​α​ί​μ​ω​ν Ε​α​υ​τ​ο​ύ”. The title itself is also very talkative. In ancient Greek, it refers to a deity living inside each of us as a protector or guardian, as explained by Van Morph in his Bandcamp description. Enigmatically, in modern Greek, it rather translates to “His Demons”, which adds a layer of symbolism to the notion of protection. This brings more suggestions on his inner struggles and how music helps him overcome them.

“Life is not a quiet river”, dear maestro, but…

Van Morph mentioned that the album title also means: “I act according to what my conscience thinks is right”, confirmed by Jim Morrison from The Doors, who also has this inscription on his grave. If Jim approves, you can now hit play on the album, if you still didn’t…

The opener feels like an enchanting glimpse into the mysterious river of life, while the second track highlights Van Morph’s will to transport us into space and time. The old school preset reminds Berlin’s neo trance from the past, while it hasn’t been inspired by a specific track, from the mouth of the artist. The following pieces bring hazy ethereal drones, coming as a continuous soothing spring wind.

But wait, let’s come back to the second track.

Then, with their earth-shattering atmospheres and deep psy ambient excursions, the next pieces install a long-lasting trippy experience, where light plays the main character, through glowing reflections and expansive pads.

But wait, let’s come back to the second track again… 

Its addictive nature rapidly intensifies: the piece totally stands out in the album. As a result, we opt to reserve the other tracks for a relaxing nap on the hammock, at a later time. “Love Dove” keeps our eyes open, and builds the obsession, like  “Reliable Promises“, “Faith in You” and “Joyful Echoes.”

It’s not the first time that Van Morph plays the nostalgic card, having for instance remixed the mythic 1990 newbeat hit “The Age of Love”:

Original version:

Jam & Spoon’s famous remix:

Van Morph’s rework:

Modernising past works or merging past sonorities with current vibes, such as in “Love Dove”, suits well to Van Morph, who brings interesting emotions in the process. It’s not that we are too old (or maybe a little bit), but by updating past sounds and giving them a new life, Van Morph somewhat honours their legacy. Pages from the past don’t have to be forever turned: science openly recycles past works from geniuses, while music often doesn’t assume it enough…

Regarding “Love Dove”, a last note, yet fundamental for us: after the listening, we would like to light a candle, as if to thank Van Morph for having accomplished what many artists miss doing: extending the track to 12 minutes. 

This is a great duration for a happy hypnotic effect. The break at 7 minutes feels like the outro, but no, the beat roars back at 7:30 for our greatest pleasure: we’ve always defended the idea that the hypnotic effect requires repetition, minimalism and a certain length to be efficient. 

More than applying these precepts, Van Morph is also capable of making them highly addictive, which contributes to the infinite mystery of the sound, fed by a distant bearded magician…

WRITING BY: CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 27 MAY 2024

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