- Release Date 2016-01-22
- Label Balsa Wood
- Catalog 643989633823
Having had a background in live instrumentation from his early teens, Niilas' approach is layered and melodic. The EP is a set of five instrumentals that recall Royksopp at their most ambient. Lead singles 'Ocelote' and 'Cosylan' have already been lauded from high places. Both have whimsical clubland synth melodies and snare-heavy dance beats, but both also retain a deeply idiosyncratic approach to song construction, - as much an ambient and immersive soundtrack to the daily grind as to the dance floors.
Niilas is first and foremost a prodigious and cutting edge producer. He has his finger firmly on the pulse, admiring the ornate synth and sampler trickery of modern producers like Rustie and Hudson Mohawke. There are a variety of attitudes throughout the EP. On opener 'Memoraids', he channels his own brand of meditative futuristic bass music through shifting soundscapes built on whirring synths and blooping melodies. Never one to get tied down to any one approach, he adds hip hop drum sounds and a deep house bridge to make a wholly novel sound.
Elsewhere '24OZ' playfully builds a thudding and glacial garage-beat around some vocal samples. Its crescendoing bass and percussion parts soon turn into a full frontal bass assault. In the bridge Niilas cools the song down by withdrawing the melodies to riff on a dance beat that's icier than the fjords of Bergen. Final track 'Flash 3' is truly chilling. Pivoted around a sweet and lullaby-simple melody, Niilas keeps it tantalisingly distorted through leering heavy bass parts and shifty synth swells.
The EP's two-single centerpiece of 'Ocelote' followed by 'Cosylan' is Niilas' big moment of pop gratification. The former is a psychedelic dance floor killer, which would make A.G. Cooke look on in envy. Dazzlingly layered and rich in the sort of automation maneuvers that belong on multi platinum albums, it's Niilas' high watermark as a producer. Similarly, the next song 'Cosylan' channels that pop approach through layered glockenspiel and harp arrangements to produce Niilas at his sunniest.
With the EP follow-up single 'Memoraids' set to drop on November ... and the full EP lined up for January 22nd, Niilas is looking forward to his upcoming appearance at EKKO festival later this year. His remixing abilities have already been sort after by the likes of Sondre Lerche and Stockhaus, and the list is still growing. Niilas has all the attributes of a future powerhouse: he's industrious, experimental and deeply talented. If the EP is anything to go by, Bergen's reputation as a place that produces powerful and wildly inventive music is safe in the hands of a future star.