5th album from UK electronic artist Calika. The album is influenced by time spent in wild, natural places but ensues the usual route of field recordings. Instead choosing to use dissonant melodies and percussion as a base to express the feelings of travelling quickly through these wild spaces. Night and day, in hot and cold, wet and dry, energised and tired, they provide a personal soundtrack to a personal experience.
Igloo Magazine. 2014
Calika, née Simon Kealoha, returns with Blelly, his seventh release, through Abandon Building. Musically, he lives comfortably between the realms of acoustic and electric, incorporating elements of both styles into tunes that have great groove and sonic depth, while still embodying a high level of experimentation and subtlety. There’s dissonance, glitch, post-rock, IDM, and more thrown into a vat and shaken, and somehow the resultant potpourri not only makes sense, but sounds good. At times, his melody resembles nothing so much as a cat haphazardly stepping on a xylophone, but it sounds excellent, and shifts without warning into a calculated and marvelous refrain, navigating deftly alongside a heavily modulated rhythm section, with a scattering of blips and crackles stippled over it all like so many glowing fireflies. It adds up to a fantastic record overall.
One of the nice things about Blelly is that it boasts fairly short tracks which flow into one another quite fluidly. The album in its entirety ends up being a very smooth listen, broken evenly by the cleverly-named “Halfway to Empty” which, at its opening, sounds like a futuristic alarm, which carries through consistently through the tune as an odd background drone. It enters and exits the song subtly, but adds a tension and dissonance, until the song kicks in, and our futuristic vehicle is traveling full-speed, and digging in with a great melody and some interesting LFO modulation. The last track, appropriately named “Off,” opens like a carousel that is winding to an eerie halt, and takes its time in moving toward its excellent melodic growth. Electric and acoustic guitars bring up an energetically ascending theme, which repeatedly promises to drop into a groove complete with rockin’ rhythm section, but leaves the listener thirsty, before descending into a deconstruction of itself, climbing back down into its roots, and reminding the listener of that alarm sounding at “Halfway to Empty.” With Blelly, Calika has a record that will stay at the top of my recently played list for a while.
released January 7, 2015
Production - Calika
Artwork - Simon Kealoha
Mastering - Chris Todd@sinterbox
Copyright Control - Abandon Building Records
Releasing his debut album in 2005 on Audiobulb Records, Simon Kealoha has continued to investigate the musical territory
between acoustic and electronic sounds. Forcing them to collide in ever more interesting combinations. The music ranges from beat laden instrumental hip hop to studies in tone and texture, often happening within the same piece. Simple joy in discovery....more