after an excellent 12inch on rosten label sstrom drops his first full length otider, which is by far the most diverse offering of the project encompassing elements of different genres and putting them in woolen and dense sonic textures. otider could be loosely translated as un-times or non-times. it positions the tracks out of specific context and rather represents them as some rediscovered artifacts relating to personal experiences of the artist. otider slightly distances sstrom from techno label as the compositions elegantly drift between lush transparency and thick grooves of outsider/lo-fi house as in kronofobi or svvaren or sensitive, yet subtly monolith and mellow techno on damm and i huvudet. in modernisten we can even trace echoes of coldwave/synth aesthetics with melancholic guitars sweeping over hypnotic rhythmic patterns, while closer sov nu introduces something which reminds a darker form of garage music with light synthpads constantly surfacing among raw mechanical beats. all the tracks were created over a relatively long period between 2010 and 2017 by employing the process where he let his hands work automatically without interference from his head. this freedom could be felt across the release, which juggles with different musical forms so lightly and organically, but at the same time maintains a coherent vision, which illustrates the vast scope and diversity of the artist.
behind the sstrom moniker hides one half of shxcxchcxsh and a long-time activist of sweden s experimental techno scene. having fallen in love with simple melodies and catchy arpeggios when being a member of bitpop/synth band slagsmalsklubben, he transferred these sensibilities further into his other projects. sstrom s excellent 2016 debut for semantica records was an excellent exercise in lush aquatic techno with breezy and lush atmospheres. the new ep -vitriol- is informed by the personal experience of the producer, which adds additional warmth and emotional weight to the record. the release brings back memories of earth pigments his father used when painting things in their house, the colours created were usually dark toned with some pastel lightness. this juxtaposition is felt throughout the record, which balances between cinematic futurist moods, steel-wool smoothness and subtle physicality due to its textured nature. the title track kicks-off with detroitish synth loops wrapped in dense lo-fi soundscapes, while -sienna- increases the tension by introducing more expansive melodic appeal intertwined with intensity of feather-like 4/4 rhythmics. -umbra- brings some shadowy sonic undertones immersed into a sea of crackle with melodies constantly resurfacing. the closing -ockra- bursts with more groovy patterns, yet retaining the same elegant warmth, which seems to be the signature element of this ep. while listening to all these tracks you feel like touching some alien surfaces with utmost sensitiveness with surreal landscapes stretching out in your imagination. this is carefully crafted introvert music, yet having some elegant dancefloor appeal.