Fathomless Music – Arkajo

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Arkajo, (AKA Nils Krogh, AKA one half of Genius of Time) released his first independent track three years ago on Clone Royal Oak; a chilled-out, almost dubby remix of Headless Ghost’s “Swept Illusions“. Since then he’s had a number of releases on labels such as Bror, Brotherhood Sound System and Aniara, featuring as a pick for our track of the day with “Panacea” in September. Fathomless Music is his 3rd independent release of 2017 (and Aniara’s 20th ever), and with Voxshot coming out on Aniara recently under the Genius of Time alias, it’s fair to say that the Swedes have been busy of late.

This release gets underway with it’s namesake track – a straightforward, no-thrills, acid-conga jam with tribal underpinnings. The congas feel raw and alive, as the sub-heavy bass resonates in and out of acidic goodness. Arkajo does well to communicate mood with this track, whilst managing to maintain a groove that keeps your foot tapping. Deeper in contrast with Fathomless Music’s direct, floor-friendly appeal, “Tape 7” arrives steeped in texture and warm, inviting soundscapes, with more focus assigned to subtle percussive and melodic evolution, which demands increasing attention from the listener. There’s a cosmic aura to this jam, which develops particular allure during it’s most stripped-back moments.

The final track, “Groove Ett”, continues where “Tape 7” left off, with percussion encroached by mood and soft fuzziness, and intriguing gestural experiments creeping in and out of shot. Soulful vocal trimmings and distant, astral pads gradually fade into the fore, leaving the listener in anticipation of something very special indeed. Unfortunately, the immersive depth that Arkajo manages to layer onto this particular canvas is hindered at the halfway mark, where the use of a worn-out, old vocal sample (Sinnamon – I Need You Now) is exerted into the limelight, somewhat clumsily, evoking a raised eyebrow and a slight frown of disappointment. It feels almost last-minute when compared with the nuanced idiosyncrasies that characterised everything that came before it; a loud hiccup in what is otherwise a very solid and well-rounded release.