|Clue to Kalo is the self-described blip-pop of Australian Mark Mitchell. The release sounds similar to what you might get if you crossed Mum and Kim Hiorthoy together, mixing occasional left-field beats, smart programming, and lush melodies and vocals. In fact, it's one of the warmest sounding electronic releases that I've heard in a long time, easily destroying the argument that all electronic music is sold and soul-less.|
The release opens with the short "The First Song of the Rest of Your Life" and gives the listener a quick dose of things to come, mixing a drifting melody, a word-less vocal loop, and some watery drum programming, then ends just as it's getting into things. "Empty Save the Oxygen" starts out with some lo-fi guitar strums, sounding like it will veer off into a fairly standard indie-rock track, but the guitar catches and loops into an infinite two-note loop while Mitchell adds soft vocals and subtle beats. About halfway through, the track shifts gears ever so slightly, trading in the vocals for a happy little keyboard melody and some loopy beats, turning the somewhat bittersweet beginning into a grin-inducing close.
"Within Reach of My Own Arms" piles on melodic keyboards in so many layers that there's always something new happening, while again dropping some beats that sound like they were beamed n from a fish tank. At more than eleven minutes long, "Still We Felt Bulletproof" opens with a pretty lethargic pace and some sleepy vocals, but smartly changes things about halfway through and ups the ante with more upfront melodies and a clompy rhythm that is the epitome of cruising around with the windows down. The last three and a half minutes alone could be one of the best electronic pop tracks that I've heard this year.
Mitchell knows to close things on a hands-down winner, though, and although some might find "Do You Know That Love Can End?" a little fluffy, it's another little electronic pop gem that shows off his subtle musical touch in mixing vocals, numerous keyboard melodies, and an unobtrusive beat. If you're a fan of anything on the Moor label or either of the artists mentioned above, this disc is a must have. One of those little gems that showed-up out of nowhere, it's one to check out. - Measure