Saturday, April 07, 2007

Xela "For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights"

Artist: Xela
Album: For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights
Labels: Neo Ouija [re-release: Type Records]
Release dates: 27 January 2003 [re-release: 22 January 2007]
Genre: Electronic
Style: Glitch/Ambient

01. Afraid Of Monsters
02. Under The Glow Of Streetlights
03. Japanese Whispers
04. Inbetween Two Rooms
05. Impulsive Behaviour
06. An Abandoned Robot
07. The Long Walk Home At Midnight
08. Bobble Hats In Summer
09. Digital Winter
10. Last Breath
11. A Glance [re-release bonus track]
12. Danse Macabre [re-release bonus track]
Total running time: 60' 40"
"Recorded between shifts at his local Halfords, Xela's debut LP 'For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights' was originally released four years ago and heralded John Twells' solo entrance onto the electronic stage through an album of gorgeously realised music that cast a shimmering spell on all those who experienced it. Now getting a welcome re-release through Twells' own Type imprint and boasting two new tracks plus some stunning Matthew Woodson cover art, 'For Frosty Mornings and Summer Nights' has withstood the greying ravages of time with considerable aplomb - appearing more sprightly and intimate now than it did first time round... For those who haven't already experienced Xela's work, 'For Frosty Mornings...' acts as a vital starting point - wherein Twells was able to distill his vast musical knowledge into the kind of music which ruptured the cosy IDM world and introduced a raft of unexpected adjuncts and classically informed compositions that sent the album well beyond the genre's increasingly insular boundaries. Outwardly more innocent than the blood red machinations of his later work, 'For Frosty Mornings...' nonetheless instills a subtle malignancy throughout which joyfully pervades the clear-eyed electronics and brings a distinctive bite to proceedings. With maturity well beyond his then bum-fluff years, Xela serves up an early show of strength through the hip-hop braced rhythm of 'Under The Glow Of Streetlights' - wherein a snowfall of effervescent synths and creamy electronic washes are knitted together with breathtaking melancholy. With a classically trained background under his hat, Xela very much understands the value of well thought out compositions that bestow the entire record with the kind of depth and grace which is all too often lacking within electronic music's clinical preoccupations. With an evident highlight being the stunning 'Bobble Hats In Summer', Xela captures that special something which transforms a beat-less cloud of floating melodies into the kind of emotional dart that takes out your senses in one pinpoint maneuver. Bolstered by bonus tracks 'A Glance' and 'Danse Macabre' (recorded shortly after the album sessions), 'For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights' is the kind of reissue that more than justifies a second coming - brimming as it is with grace, beauty and ye olde vim. Classic." [source]



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