It was Axhan Sonn's ambient mix of "Mesehyena Tracks" on the Bass Agenda Show 136, that brought back the double album from "Axhan Sonn" back right under the spotlight. Released in 2013 on "Nerve System Records'", the album is an overview of Axhan Sonn's nicely selected ambient tracks he produced between 2005 and 2011.
Nerve System Records on the other hand, is a Brussels based vinyl label founded by Lara Dudek with producers from just about every genre in Electronic music. Her exclusive vinyl label came to life when she heard several good tracks that were unreleased and deserved to be.
Funny constatation how Andy Barton's broadcast often digs deep, discovering producers and record labels, whether or not by chance, located just behind the corner in Brussels. Producer Axhan Sonn on the other hand, grew up in "Spa", a mythic small town in the south of Belgium and known for the eternal source water that quenches the thirst of its inhabitants. With a tiny inch of your imaginary mind, you can hear the calm of the water source, continuously present in the ambient oriented music on the record.
The double album is virtuous fun, released as a limited 300 copies, with a personal number that can be requested by the buyer, for their unique copy. Now and then it's really good for the world of Electro that is too often dominated by volatile tracks, to lean back for a full story, getting the pleasure to listen to a full album in depth. The tracks weave beautifully into each other, for tender ears to listen. The melody is constantly present, that while sipping from an icy cocktail, seems to come temptingly close.
Side A opens with "Azure" in lightness, in which bright sound effects spin around. "Aspaen" stomps sensitively on a lead beat into high gear, and is carried by sensitive melodies in a jazzy mood. The 3rd track on side A has Jungle grooves, eclectic with a wink on the vague DJ culture. The track builds itself with acid frames and synth layers, and Axhan Sonn succeeds quite well in order to make music into music with a big lane feeling.
Turning the disc around for Side B, the groove is heading of with the soundscape interlude "Kaos". "Perercia" concludes with repetitiveness into minimalism, leaving them drifting with multiple lanes in the music, making the compositions come alive . "Aydogdu" goes into a higher gear, with metal percussion and a mysterious voice loop, layered with tingling melodies from surging synth lines until the end. "H.H.E.", the last track for the B Side, rattles wonderfully on an Afro beat for sultry dance floors.
Side C opens with "Néréide" in a warm bassline, spanned by the sound of angels and the sound of metal box beats. The track "Arlequin'" bathes in minimalist drum patterns, surrounded by bird songs. Axhan Sonn takes the time to build up the ambiance, loving the repetition, the reverb of the basslines, as he's constructing in the "Promethée" track, to end up the plate to run for Side D. Literally the "D" of Detroit, starting of with "Epitaxham".
The track brings back alive the heyday of Inner City legend Kevin Saunderson. Pushed by a similar melody, inspired by the all time classic Techno tracks "Big Fun" and "Good Life", up to a 909 patern. It's the absolute highlight of this double album. "Intermaes" on the other hand is a totally drunken track which stumbles on the beat, as the rhythms speed up to be played off against each other.
With a deep sense for experimentation and dare, drawing next to the lines, "Pingc" beats on an acid tweak, orgue melodies, and dark basslines, inviting you for the all-night parties. "ACS 20", the tail of the disc's D side, comes in with a dry beat and a bubbly sequence, spanned by melancholic synth layers that form a delicious end for this double story; in which Axhan Sonn, a young producer influenced by the core of Detroit, proves more than enough, he's got the talent to captivate the vinyl lovers with pearls.
The double album is not just a quality play in ambient soundscapes or Detroit influenced dance floor killers. It's also a must for the collector of beautifully designed vinyl and artwork. A double album that grows on you by listening to it each time. Get it now! Highly reccomended.
- Axhan Sonn's Soundcloud page
- Nerve System Records' Facebook page
- Nerve System Records' Soundcloud page
Written by: Erik Verreyken