19 August 2012

Electronic Genius: Modbom's 11 Latest Releases



Alright ya'll. In January of this year, Modbom released one of our favorite albums of the year (it missed our half year list by a hairstring) Space Is A Vat Of Paint. The man behind the project, Jordan Kolbaba, is constantly releasing music. I believe under the Modbom name he has made over 30+ albums. And recently, we got an email from Mr. Kolbaba asking if we'd check out some of his more recent releases. And of course we obliged. Since the last time we had checked (I believe March), Modbom has added 11 new albums. Below, we will help guide you through his recent releases. What's what, what we think of it, and maybe a favorite track. Somethin' like that. We like Modbom.

Modbom's Most Recent Releases (Oldest To Newest)

1. Tunnels (ep)

The Tunnels EP is the first on this list. 5 tracks. It's a pretty interesting and odd beat EP, much less calm, and much more experimental hip hop oriented. I definitely like the EP as a whole, but I think the first and third track are brilliant.

2. botwa
I would describe botwa as a kind of Ambient Acid House release. Mostly more Acid than Ambient, but it definitely has it's calm moments. Awesome.

3. thePond
thePond is definitely a good follow up right after botwa. There's a bit more Acid House tunes, but this release has much more just great electronic beat making. Pretty bouncy/soothing at the same time.

4. growth and soil
growth and soil has a really cool epic and orchestral feel to it. There's some string instrumentation, pianos (haven't really heard that from modbom), and assorted added sounds and structures. Easily the best track on here is the 7 minute close "erth". I just couldn't pull myself away from that track.

5. alina
You know, in my head, I find myself thinking that "I love Modbom's stuff a lot. But nothing can really top Space Is a Vat Of Paint". I do think this EP is the one thing that comes the closest to that record. It's an EP dedicated to his wife, and it's really some brilliant stuff. It is pretty much all chiptune and dance tunes, but they all feel very original and interesting. The first track, "a", is a very pretty chiptune track, with a great 8 bit synth solo and with a reverb splashed stand upp bass in the background to keep thing in check. "I" is has a great 8 bit beat, and great orchestral and dance synths backing it. "N" has a great electric synth riff and it progresses into a chiptune wonderland soon enough. The beats on that track sorta remind me maybe.. maybe!.... a bit of Nicolas Jaar. But yes, I definitely loved this EP a lot.

6. abysmal
A very short, but just right, EP of modbom stuff. I'd definitely recommend this as maybe a good place to start if you're new to Modbom. Very bright beats and synths, and maybe a bit more accessible for those not familiar with this style of music.I love the way he subdues the drums leading up to a climax. It's a very cool way of doing things. Favorite track is "trainStations". I love the synth riff, and I love the just absolute drop towards the end: just bombastic and distorted drums, and the sythns are just perfectly hanging over them. Wow, those drums are just in attack mode on that track.

7. resolution then violence
Now, this one is one of Modbom's first releases, made under the name Valcor De Key. Unlike most Modbom's releases, this album was live recorded on an 4 track  in the upstairs of his mom's house. And considering the music that's on here, that's pretty cool. It's a fairly lo-fi, very experimental synth pop album. He even sings on every track, which we DEFINITELY don't see on almost all of his other releases. And I really like his voice on this album. I can't really come up with a comparison, but I enjoy it a lot. The album reminds me a lot of the tracks from that first Casiotone For The Painfully Alone record, Answering Machine Music (or any of the earlier CFTPA albums). Definitely enjoyed this one.

8. casiography

Anothe reissue from Valcor De Key, but it's definitely much more of a transition into what Modbom is doing now then the other re-release. Still lo-fi, electro ambient beats, and I'd definitely say that in the Modbom discography, there is no better place to start than this one. Not to ambient, no to weird, and it's just right if you wanna try and introduce someone.

9. Vocal Master
This is an album from Jordan's band Hey, The Maker. And while I'm far from being a giant fan of them, I definitely enjoyed this record. Very nice, instrumental rock music. It kinda reminds me of a more experimental The Littlest Viking. I dug it for sure. #mathrock

10. tower
tower is a very nice record. Bright, blippy, and great drum machines. I like the way how he throws in more samples on this record. just kind of adds a flavor to it. "Pulse Phase" is my favorite, just because it has an interesting sorta dubstep feel to it.

11. akuarium

Definitely a longer Modbom album (one track almost goes up to 10 minutes), and definitely an enjoyable one. There's some use of some very blippy 8 bit drum machines, and also some clean ones too. The synths are ambient synths are very pretty and beautiful. "plankton" is my favorite track, with it's 10 minute length, there's so much to be explored.

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