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ESP INSTITUTE

Norwegian artist Tarjei Nygård first touched upon the ESP Institute spectrum in 2016 with a limited-edition red flexidisc of "Bleusa", which accompanied issue 21 of New York City’s acclaimed Love Injection fanzine. Since then, his poetic offerings have been a staple, for their ability to effectively dictate mood is second to none. Concentrating on the timeless aspects of melody and rhythm, Nygård's approach may sound obvious on paper, it's this deliberate approach to songwriting that brings his productions to life and gives them a unique sparkle.

"Bleusa" is dripping with fantasy and adventure with island pads, golden bent notes, even a cameo bird-call from the infamous acid house loon, yet Tarjei exhibits a mature level of restraint, a highly sophisticated grasp of emotion thats perfect for after hours luxury. "Forus Echo" furthers this notion but expands into full-blown ripples of ecstasy, coasting over soft-thumping percussion that mimics the human heart while smothering the listener with concentric waves of synth feedback. On Side B, Tarjei shifts to a strong rhythm dynamic, the demented "Lost In Lindos" is an aquatic breakbeat thats both deep and buoyant, a malleable tool that works at any BPM - not specifying particular references but skirting the ballpark of early turntablism. "Øylie" closes the EP with a familiar ESP prescription; we lie on our backs, finger-painting in the opium smoke above, feeling the warm embrace of collective consciousness while telepathically harmonizing plans for our utopian future.


Jonny Rock

Ode To A Happening On Earth

Jonny Rock is somewhat of a sorcerer, an omnipresent eye that gathers secret ingredients from far and wide - old school House oddities, hypnotic melodies of the Orient, the furthest reaches of Disco, the easy pace of Turkish psychedelic funk - fusing it all into his own shrouded code, a string of immaterial messages, both subliminal and lucid, that highlight his eccentric sense of storytelling and nuance. He imbues a sense of familiarity in his music, implying history that might not be studied but still feels learned, a quality inherent to productions born from a vast catalog of influence (and the inseparable sample material). Jonny conjures euphoric acid flashbacks, herds of crowds through Istanbul alleys, the misty morning residue from raves of yore, orchestral winds blown across the Aegean riviera, and he manages to concentrate their essence into singular details such as a snare drum. Both sides of his eternally-awaited ESP debut lean toward his dark arts—'Tye Die Techno' drives a relentless hard-edged drum kit that could throw an otherwise self-respecting Goth into a heated breakdance battle, while the title track and theme, 'Ode To A Happening On Earth,' plays with the imagery of ritual, fantasy and role-playing—but throughout this malevolent stew, there is a sustained hint of the artist’s playful nature. No matter how murky the trip becomes, Jonny is always there, a light at the end of the tunnel, with a big hug to reassure that everyone will be OK. He is one clever bastard—if you know, you know.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: "Tye Die Techno" reminds me of summat you might hear Neil Diablo playing at El Diablos Social Club or perhaps blasting outta the Function 1's in Croatia circa the last few years. "Ode To A Happening.." creeps into the shadows with a slow EBM throb.

Ground is an Osaka native, but his soul is truly that of a nomad, traversing the planet, befriending the kindred spirits found in humans, animals and plants. He is exceptionally receptive to the beauty in all that surrounds him -the incidental music of a busy city street, the orchestrated chaos of a scrambling radio, the syncopated grace of a migrating flock of birds, the simplicity of an isolated hand clap - and as his map continuously unfolds, he accumulates a vast catalogue of visceral tools to complex musically recount his experiences. "Sunizm" is a cross section of the artist’s process - an array of complex microcosms overlapping to comprise a thematic whole - gathering field recordings, found instrumentation, jagged electronics, and synthesized chanting, to be woven into a dense narrative that appears both obsessively constructed and divinely improvised. With each consecutive track, the artist gradually constructs hypnotic patterns that 1-up the mind as it struggles to break free from a seduction of loops, steadily intensifying until reaching an apex of sound collage so cerebral that the listener might consider a post-album shower. But alas, the fourth quarter releases a bit of pressure, our gobs still lay smacked but there is a warm confidence as the psychedelic trial delivers us home to nod out. Dear humans, animals and plants, Ground and the ESP Institute present, "Sunizm".

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: I've been all over DJ Ground since I heard his mega edit work on a massive Mori Ra 12". Picking up from where he left off on his Bartellow collab (Still in my record bag), the Osaka producer effortlessly combines futuristic electronic sound, precise sampler work and rich organic textures to create a groovy and psychedelic vision of shamanic house. Highly recommended for any daytrippers out there...

Greenvision is the collaborative brainchild of two ESP Institute artists, Juan Ramos and Luca Trentini AKA Trent, both longtime fixtures of Berlin’s infamous playground known as Cocktail d’Amore. Separately, these two explore their own very personal avenues of expression, putting their time in the trenches and endlessly polishing their works (this is Juan’s third release with the label), but when their efforts overlap we’re gifted a view into their uncanny synergy. Juan and Trent channel an exorbitant amount of smoke-fueled creativity, building layers upon layers into music so dense that the bulk of their studio time might then be spent navigating and formalizing their output into tangible tracks. Greenvison’s collective debut with the ESP Institute showcases three intense cerebral workouts, "Banana Paradiso", "Rambutan" and "The Color Of Maracuja", an array of experiments pulling from all the corners of the duo’s imagination - it is disorienting, cacophonous, introverted and psychedelic, but at the same time playful, melodic, euphoric and undoubtedly arresting - guaranteed to induce hallucinations under proper circumstances.

Five hundred and seventy-three moons ago (give or take), Thunder Tillman and his personal shaman emerged from the ESP Institute with an epic debut EP of baked psychedelics entitled 'Jaguar Mirror'. We now bare witness to the duo’s glorious follow-up as they initiate us into the 'Night School Of Universal Wisdom'. These two cosmic jokers possess a vibrant and fearless sense of exploration that knows no boundaries, as if their dreams translate directly into song and their bodies exist merely to channel music they’ve tapped into from another world, one where influences are uncharted and any instrument imaginable is available at their fingertips. As with 'Jaguar Mirror', their grasp of all things analogue begins with guitar laying the slightly imperfect foundation for four harmonious narratives, a journey that begins with a fast paced gallop across vast landscapes in search of the Incan god of thunder, Catequil, and gently concludes with us lying horizontally to absorb sporadic beams of healing light. The discourse throughout Night School Of Universal Wisdom is as charming as it is exquisite, orienting the listener with a bouquet of warm tones whilst layering plies of musical dialogue so subtle they require repeated study. Thunder Tillman manage to weave the past into future without diverting to pastiche, successfully merging their characterized production with melodic mastery and a sense of humor, a creative achievement that accredits them as two of our most esteemed scholars.


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