Yagya

The Rhythm of Snow

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The reliance upon imagery, track listings, and labels is par for the course with the largely vocal-free fields of electronic dance music. The Rhythm of Snow, the debut of Iceland-based producer Aalsteinn Gumundsson's alias as Yagya, is no exception, but the artwork might throw a few people off with its sharp angles and glassy effects of gray and black snowflakes (however attractive it is). The cold, sterile atmosphere that the physical package projects is unfortunate because there's a comfort in these productions, plainly named "Snowflake 1" through "Snowflake 10," that relate more to the good feelings associated with snow (jumping in a bank with a thick snowsuit) rather than the bad ones (shoveling, frostbite). Come to think of it, the label could be a little misleading as well. The soft synthetic beats, the maximal minimalism of the billowy textures, and the overall delicate touch are probably better suited for the Kompakt label than Force Inc. Akin to Kompakt's self-coined and curated pop ambient movement, Gumundsson's productions are easy on the ear and hold a deceptively catchy nature to them, completely avoiding the feel of some academic exercise. Compared to an obvious influence like Wolfgang Voigt, the granddaddy of this quasi-movement, Gumundsson is relatively liberal with the alterations he makes to the foundation of each track, twisting textures and folding them into each other with bewildering results. Beats are present throughout, ranging from a hollow tap to a racing pulse to a becalmed chug, with the latter being the most utilized. It's indeed a daunting task to take the record on in whole, but like any great ambient techno record, it leaves the impression of having no beginning and no end.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
7:28
2
6:20
3
7:52
4
6:10
5
6:50
6
9:15
7
8:53
8
8:59
9
9:34
10
6:39
blue highlight denotes track pick