|Album Review: Dave DK - Val Maira|
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With a discography dating back to the late 90s, veteran Dave Kraseman - a.k.a. Dave DK - finally revealed his third full-length album, Val Maira, last month via Kompakt. It seems as though the German producer only gets better as he grows, which is saying a lot considering his previous records on labels such as Moodmusic and Television Records have garnered plenty of praise through out the years. With a tendency to create electronic tracks that easily tug at tender emotion, the Berlin-based producer sets himself apart from the pool of electronic/ techno artist pushing the familiar brand of techno music one can hear bursting out of staple clubs like Berghain/Panorama Bar and Tresor on any given weekend.
Val Maira treads gracefully in the vain of Kompakt's well-received Pop Ambient series of releases. Reaching such level of intricately curated sound-design could only be eventual for a producer like Kraseman who has been most memorable when it comes to layering capabilities. But to only affiliate this album with its ambient components sells it short. Standout song, "Whitehill" features lush vocals from Piper Davis. On the boards Dave DK works in less ambient doses, but the occasional reverb added to Davis' vocals disallow the song to completely astray from it. "Nueva Cancion" also presents itself with unique poise as its wishful demeanor develops into a reawakening toward the album's latter half just when things feel like their leaning towards the long recline.
The album's essence caters to the beautification of sounds, and although it's not necessarily a forward-thinking piece of work, the digestibility and shapeliness it encompasses is enough to make it noteworthy. Kraseman mentions intending to "create an interlocking atmosphere of merriment and melancholy for the full duration of an album", and indeed he does. "Naschi" is a good example of this. Just seconds shy of 3 minutes long, it is densely ambient, a bit sci-fi, succint, and full of abstractions that work as a keen interlude.
"Coolette" and "Kronsee" close this experience well. Lively, smooth, and good-natured, there's a prominent jingly sensation that resonates to heavenly heights fully illuminating in the last seconds of Val Maira. A wonderful experience by way of Dave DK and Kompakt once again.