Following on from February’s ‘Shoot The Sun’ EP, Norken & Deer (aka Neo Ouija founder Lee Norris and label manager Martin Hirsch) deliver their long-awaited collaborative album, ‘Micro Don Juan’ via Hydrogen Dukebox.
Two of electronica’s most consistently interesting producers, Lee has been a presence on the scene since ’96 with releases as Norken, Metamatics, Tone Language (alongside Ichiro Taniguchi and Kenji Taniguchi), and Nacht Plank (with Peter Cox), whilst Martin has not only made a name for himself through his revered soundscapes as Deer, but also as a studio engineer and digital sound artist.
Titled in reference to the fictional libertine Don Juan, Lee began work on the album in late 2010 before Martin joined the production process in February 2011. With Lee settled in the Devonshire countryside and Martin running his various operations from Germany, the collaborative process was meticulously assembled remotely with both parties using both cutting-edge software and an array of old and new analogue equipment.
Upon completion, the resulting ten tracks were then taken to a recently renovated studio situated in an old gasworks plant on the outskirts of Weimar, where Martin mixed the album adding vocals to the single ‘Shoot The Sun’.
Despite the synthetic nature of the album, the pair wanted to give the music an organic feel that reflected the pastoral tranquility of their respective retreats. Successfully fulfilling their aim, Micro Don Juan is an emotive tapestry of emotive minimalism.
Ranging in both tempo and depth, ‘Migrating Deserts’ and ‘3cielo Simplified’ bristle in ethereal ambience, while tracks such as ‘Beyond The Breeze’, ‘Don’t Feel Her Now’ and the epic closer ‘Rewire Your Thoughts’ chug though a sea of orchestrated pulses. Understated yet compelling, this is simply, a must-check release for followers of not only Hydrogen Dukebox, but also those of other electronica institutions such as Leaf, R&S, Kompakt and Warp.
1. Microcosm 2. Shoot The Sun (Featuring Kayela) 3. Beyond the Breeze 4. Migrating Deserts 5. Don’t Feel Her Now 6. Remember That Feeling 7. Bitola Ola 8. 3cielo Simplified 9. Micro Castaneda 10. Rewire Your Thoughts (Bonus)
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