Michael Santos – The Happy Error – CD – Baskaru


Now I’m not usually given to bouts of overwhelming nostalgia, but this latest wonderful recording from Baskaru takes me back to happy times, delving around marginal record shops in London, seeking out new minimalist treasures. Michael Santos’ The Happy Hour is a wonderful excursion that for me, harks back to early Oval, (circa Systemisch) or Mouse on Mars (circa Niun Nugging). Santos harnesses tried and tested experimental techniques to manifest deliciously warm tracts of ambience, skipping and tripping along at a genteel pace, bathing the listener in an aura of minimalist ambience. Title track, The Happy Error is a sheer tour de force that has the distinct feel of early Oval, gorgeously paced, and with a central refrain of CD skipping and scratching that has a familiar overtone, yet remains utterly original. Tracks like Balloon, and Supercolour really nail the retro Mouse on Mars feel, and although MOM are still operating, Santos eclipses their works, with a fresh and scintillating approach to clicks n cuts territory, rarely straying away from the cosy glow of ambience, nothing too alien or indigestible. Hopefully Helsinki emerges as one of my most listened to tracks (I’ve played the whole album four times on the trot already), with an elegantly sequenced keyboard theme, dotted with rapier sharp glitches, and textural fragments. This clearly emerges as one of my favourite “musical” albums of the year so far, and if I had the money to go on holiday to the sun now (the sun..do you remember what it looks like fellow Englishmen?), then this would be in my holdall to accompany me..a sheer delight to listen to, and a masterpiece from a promising label. Buy now! BGN



About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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