(No Land Called Home)
Trip Hop , Ambient
Massive Attack, Portishead, Saltillo
Trip hop, electronica, whatever you want to call it is flooded with artists that sound similar to each other or just not putting forth original thoughtful music, so it’s great to hear some artists rise to form. This brings us to Subheim, a side music project of Germany based artist Kostas Katsikas.
Experimental and somber are just a couple words describing his second release No Land Called Home. His sound incorporates the use of many instruments such as: electronic percussion, a deep bass, piano, synths, horns, acoustics and a cello; giving us a trip hop album that is unique.
The opening track "Dusk" sets the mood; it starts with a soft morbid cello which leads us to the soft, eloquent vocals of guest singer Katja, who lends her talents on half the album. "Streets" continues the somber exploratory ambience as we hear some horn arrangements building up at the end, giving us some welcome diversity. "When Time Relieves" has a deep synth sound and steady beats accompanied by the echoed vocals of Katja, making for one of the stand out tracks here. "December", "Conspiracies" and "Dunes" have some stimulating and impressive drum beats that inject the album with some needed up-tempo rhythms.
The one weak spot here is the ballad "The Veil", as guest singer Timothy N. Gregory's vocals are just overwhelming along with so-so lyrics; it’s just too dramatic for our taste. The "Cold Hearted Sea" and "The Ravage Below" are subdued, ghostly songs that bring a sense of remorse; great songs too lose yourself in. Ending the album is "At The Edge Of The World", where we hear the combination of violins and acoustics at work here, along with a subtle use of soft synths to fill the background, a very pleasant, fitting ending.
Subheim's sound has evolved since the debut album Approach. With the delicate vocals, acoustics and deeper electronics at work; these elements play a big role in the evolution of his sound. No Land Called Home is unique in the world of trip hop as it will appeal to many fans and newcomers to this genre.
Standout Tracks: When Time Relieves, Dunes