esem - serial human cd review from ?

Serial Human titula el segundo album de este interesante artista, explorador de sonidos electronicos, siempre dentro de un estilo particularmente aseptico, experimental y siempre deslumbrante. Aunque en este nuevo album para Merck Esem parece conjugar habilmente los sonidos oscuros con un brillo especialmente cegador. Siderurgia y melodia. La precision quirurgica de los ritmos y los efectos se ensamblan con melodias que, en alguna ocasion, suavizan este, su estilo sombrio en el que sentir definitivamente la esencia de lo digital. El contacto, la vision y el entusiasmo a traves del codigo binario. Pulsos digitales llevados, tras la modulacion y lo acustico, a un analogico encuentro en el que deleitarse. George Marinov (Esem), que ya publico en el tristemente difunto sello Defocus su anterior Enveloped, se desmarca de muchos de los artistas del actual panorama electronico, en ocasiones desabrido, ofreciendo una brillante demostracion de musica electronica de alta calidad. Doce temas que se erigen progresivamente en una acelerada trama de bpm`s alcanzando la excelsitud emocional en momentos en los que sobrecogerse en su escucha atonita. Desde Bulgaria, la electronica sigue vivaz. | masdesnowboard

esem - serial human cd review from thaddi@de:bug

Also. Was kann man von jemandem erwarten, der sich selber 7902103M1007040BGR nennt? Irgendwie total freundliche Tracks, die zwischen klaren Arpeggios, einem Bild von Arovane an der Studiowand, diesen Bladerunner-Strings und einer generellen Liebe zu strengem Science Fiction plötzlich die übersteuerte Bassdrum auspacken, komisch roboter-mäßig rumbreaken, sich kurz bei darkem Noise abarbeiten um schließlich bei dickem Electro anzukommen. Welch Reise! Klar, dass sowas nur jemand reißen kann, der so heißt, oder? Die persönliche Altersversicherung. Kann halt alles der Kerl. Sowas hilft.

esem - serial human cd review from the good people at

'Serial Human' is not simply a sequel to his last album, instead it departs and greatly increases the quality of music via its sound - redirected towards aural grit and bit-crushed dsp crunches. Some tracks have a real Yunx styled Detroit fuel in their engine, with tracks like 'Cee' and 'Bleece' epitomising this sound best. Other tracks rock in a colder fashion, dancefloor action through a digital wasteland. Though the IDM scene has suffered from a fair amount of homogeny these last few months, labels like Merck seem to consistently pick out artists who keep the candle brightly lit. Recommended.

esem - serial human cd review from

Serial Human is Bulgarian George Marinov's second album, this time released by Merck Records. Those expecting a natural progression from his Enveloped album on DeFocus are in for a shock. With only a few exceptions, Serial Human explores altogether darker terrain than Enveloped. Glittering washes and percussion are replaced by jagged, metallic synths that reverberate and resonate with menace. Like its predecessor, Serial Human has an extremely strong opening that sums up in one track everything that is to follow. In this case it is the robotic "Tjiccli," a far more dance floor friendly track than Esem has put out before. "Tjiccli" is full of nervous energy, neon synths and a dark but instantly memorable melodic backbone that builds to a powerful, searing climax making this one of the most essential Esem tracks ever.
Serial Human contrasts with its predecessor notably, however, in its structure and coherence. This album has a much more obvious narrative structure and theme than Enveloped and thus, despite the chasms that separate the musical styles on offer here the album flows wonderfully. Following on from the first track are the luxurious, pulsing loops of "Cee" and the glittering, space-travel soundtrack "Bleece," both of which feature the more familiar, trademark warmth, complexity and emotional character of Esem's earlier work. These two full-bodied tracks blend together seamlessly. Then comes the shock. Almost a soon as the album has begun, "Swift Urban Departure From What Was Once An Innocent Soul" heralds a dark interlude - a complete shift in tone of the music, to one entirely in keeping with the title. The sound of a tram arriving and departing from a station is swiftly followed by chilly, echoing drips of harsh, metallic percussion which is followed immediately by "Sofiatram As I Hear It" that features three minutes of what is presumably the distorted sound of the Sofia tram rumbling by. Then it's back into Serial Human proper and a darker mood emerges, driven forward by another dance floor friendly track, "Square Lamp" with thumping, driving bass and Esem's usual gift for the considered and dramatic build-up. "Outburst Nue" is drenched in cavernous atmospheres with strikingly deep reverb that flows into "Kyves Ivrload," a genuinely creepy number that slowly distorts beyond all recognition.
Serial Human closes with the unpredictable "Tawn," which returns very much to the sound of the opening track. Beginning simply, it quickly adds layer upon layer of bleeps, stabs, spikes and clatters before slowly deconstructing itself into smoky, swirling ambience. Whereas Enveloped was a drifting, atmospheric, all encompassing and panoramically a beautiful experience, Serial Human is dramatic, severe, tense, relentless and hugely compelling. Esem's ability to stamp his mark indelibly on two such diversely themed albums is a testament to his talent and Serial Human is yet another essential Esem purchase.

esem - serial human cd review from

The second full-lenght album produced by the talented Esem and released by Merck. ”Serial Human” is decidedly more up-tempo than the last album (Enveloped reviewed in 2002), drawing heavily on techno, house and especially electro without becoming generic whatsoever. The twelve tracks on ”Serial Human” displays a darker and more intense musical side of Esem and could be considered as a slight change in direction. Not fearing the more experimental side of things there’re also completely beatless sonic passages included on the album as well. “Tjiccli” is the first track and the harder setting of the album can be sensed straight away it’s a well-produced track with interesting sounds and quite an atmosphere alongside clinical beats. “Cee” displays an interesting take on the way of the Americas strings are included. The third track “Bleece” has less tempo than the previous track and a melody to kill for. The (extremely) long titled “Swift urban departure from what was once an innocent soul” starts of with environmental city sound takes and develops into a fairly fast paced bass monster, with straight forward and effective beats, nervous and somewhat claustrophobic synthetic constructs.
“Sofiatram as I hear it” is beatless sonic experiment and one can but hope that the sounds of the trams in Sofia aren’t amplified in any higher degree! “Square Lamp” and “Outburst Nue” together with “Alipe Lacks” are currently my personal favourites of this album. “Square Lamp” is a clever take on electro, but with lots of atmosphere and masterly constructed soundscapes. Mid-through the track breaks down just to resume with even more intensity. And that is the key word here, intensity, not aggressivity. Brilliant! “Outburst Nue” comes next in line and that too is a marvellous track with solid beats programming a hint of electro and great atmosphere. More heavy basslines and straight forward beats in “Kyes Irrload” and “Scatterhaunted & Vellin Street” that follow. “Upward Instlr” is a mood change with gentler beats and fantastic melody leading on to the best track on the entire album with superb beats programming, fantastic bassline and the sweetest of melodies, all put together in the best possible way, two words: instant classic! “Tawn” ends this delightful second full-length by Esem. Who’s responsible for this release? Well, it’s Merck of course!

esem - serial human cd review from

Hailing from Bulgaria, Esem mastermind George Marinov emerged last year with his first album, Enveloped, following a sting of highly promising EPs. Although the album, released on deFocus, remained somewhat something of a discreet affair, it however caught the imagination of a discerning audience with its lush soundscapes. Sometimes associated with the like of Lackluster, Esem’s first offering, if at times relying on early-Warp style musical structures, demonstrated an interesting approach to electronic music, mostly based on melodies.
For this second album, his first for Miami-based Merck, Esem drifts away slightly from the calm atmospheres of his previous record to explore more upbeat and complex structures, yet Marinov retains the warm characteristic of his previous outputs all the way through. Often evoking the polished melodies of early Autechre, Serial Human is classic electronica in its purest form. Consciously avoiding the current trends to focus on entirely electronic constructions, with the exception of a few found sounds, the man deploys here a wide range of sonic effects to support his melodies and work on the evocative power of his music. The opening track very much reveals the tone of this album. From bold bouncing waves and syncopated beats emerge a broken arpeggio that evolves almost imperceptibly all the way through. Marinov mixes crisp digitally processed and analogue sounds, developing atmospheric structures over the length of each track. Alternating between straightforward fast-paced and more laidback and complex compositions, Esem explores a variety of ambiences and sonic perspectives. On the perfectly explicit Sofiatram As I Hear It, perhaps one of the most abstract moments of this record, Esem uses the basic sample of a tram and processes it to emphasise on the mechanical nature of the sound source highlighting in the process the industrial past of his native country. Although rarely as obvious as this, found sounds periodically surface to bring tones to his compositions More than just a logical follow-up to his first album, Serial Human shows Esem broadening his musical horizon as he ventures into more complex sonic terrains. If this album is not the most innovative record you’ll hear this year, it remains an interesting piece of work, based on early nineties electronica yet brought right up to date with the help of current technology.

esem - serial human cd review from e|i magazine autumn 2003

Bulgarian George Marinov follows up his debut, Enveloped, by edging into more shadowy territories. Influenced on one hand by Detroit techno and its noir-ish urban futures, and on the other by '90s ambient, Serial Human sees Esem seeking a personal voice within the somewhat impersonal world of beat-driven electronica. It pulls one way, to variable effect, toward the current trend of experimental sound design, and another, more succesfully, toward a slightly retro-fitted IDM model. The Esem sound is essentially about two things, swagger and synths, the former sharp, brittle and propulsive, the latter sometimes warm, melodic, but edged with a sawtooth resonance. "Tjiccli" welds quasi-classical synth motifs in delay-driven ripples to a brittle, bounding breakbeat with an unashamed machine feel. "Cee" is warmer, though again shot through with incisive blips on updated decelerated Detroit-techno suspension, understated chords held back till denouement. The mood and momentum is dissipated by "Bleece" - forgettable ambient dub wibble - then regained by the hyperactive thud and chatter of "Swift Urban Departure from What Was Once an Innocent Soul." "Sofiatram as I Hear It" - an exercise in local field recording and DSP - loses it again before the spatial dynamics of "Square Lamp" gradually pours over the banks of a febrile rhythm. "Outburst Nue" dislocates with a mass of uncoiling noise stalked by an ominous bass figure over a tattoo-esque beat, then "Kyves Overload" continues an increasingly chilly ride through some discomfort zones, while anonymous Menschmachine robofunk catches those unaware on the intersection of "Scatterhaunted & Vellin Street." The three final (linked?) pieces achieve a propitious closure - "Upward Instlr" tugs hearts, "Alipe Lacks" slightly haunts, and "Tawn" proclaims a sort of homecoming.

esem - serial human cd review from "kaz"

Bored of a thousand chillout artists trying to do the exact same thing? Merck Records (with it's long list of very talented artists) bring us a wonderful CD from Esem, the accomplished, talented and orginal act from Bulgaria, one of the rare acts that does their very own thing without going overboard with glitches and noise. Yes, I am biassed in this review. Probably best defined as IDM rather than ambient, Esem showcase the darker and funkier side of chill-out in all their releases, bordering DnB at moments, touches of Ozric Tentacles styled psychedelia all with superb choices of sound and a lot of imagination - this being his first full length album on Merck.
Starting off with a dramatic and flowing track, with a lot of touches of 80s electronica in the melodies, all while the funky percussion accent these in a wonderful way, Tjiccli opens this album in a very formal tone, but without sounding too pompous or presumptious.
Moving to a more laid back atmosphere, Cee takes the listener into a deep dive, with a heavily reverbed chord setting the tone for this track, giving a beautiful piece of music with a lot of emotion.
Bleece continues with the relaxed atmosphere and this time gives more in the way of a richness in the harmony, developing the theme slowly but surely, keeping the melodic touches surrounding everything, with a rather simple percussion giving a drive to the music. The bassline here is meldoic and deep, filling in the soundscape perfectly.
And now, for something completely different. A dramatic opening gives way for the flowing percussion work that makes Esem stand out so well, with the melodies this time there to accent the flow given from the rhythm, Swift Urban Departure Form What Was Once an Innocent Soul is much more upbeat than the earlier tracks of this album. While not as agressive as standard DnB, the usage of the melodic touches gives this track a lot of beauty that sinks into the listeners head in no time.
Dark industrial touches, strings, chaotic noises all kept very much under control, Sofiatram as I Hearit is less of a track in the common sense, but rather a piece of flowing sound, no percussion, no melody, but just a dark atmosphere being built in a really... odd flow.
One of my favorite tracks for the last year, more DnBish than the previous tracks on this album, Square Lamp starts with percussion games that leave an empty space which is filled by emotional strings and melodic work that at some point push the percussion (which is louder than basically everything else in the track) to the background, while the uplifting yet slightly sad melodic work takes charge, giving a mellow flow that just pulls the mind into the music.
Percussion and noise, dark and deep... A memory from the days when IDM was still considered a small part of ambient (as opposed to today, when if anything, it is the other way around). Outburst Nue doesn't have much in the way of standard musical taste, but the lack of glitches give the industrial strings much more of an accent than in most IDM tracks, and there's something there that I just can't put my finger on, but it's definately there and is amazing.
Kyes Ivrload combines simple melodic work, driving percussion and some of the IDMish noise to give a track which has the powerful flow that's a trademark in this album, giving a short yet potent story that is just pure braincandy while not agressive or daunting.
Back to the brighter side of the emotional scale, with the percussion being very creative yet placed deep in the background, Scatterhaunted & Vellin Street is melodic and uplifting than the last few tracks in the album, but more twisted than the first ones. Some would think that this would be a recipe for a brain damaging track, but no it isn't - far from it.
A mellow groove and powerful emotional harmonies define this track, giving a wonderful story. Upward Instlr already gives the feeling of an end, giving a very complete closure to it's atmosphere in the ending of the wonderful track.
Alipe Lacks goes even more downbeat, this time the melodic touches define the groove in a more dominant way than the percussion, deep and relaxing, developing on and on until we are left with just background noise (and a little bit of startling in the end).
Closing this album, Tawn starts off with the percussion, with sounds that strike as familiar from the earlier parts of the album, this is a true epilogue, besides the fact that as a stand alont track it is wonderful as well. A sense of waking up from a dream to a sunny day trying to push through a closed window, this track is just the beautiful end of a dream, soon to be forgotten.
What can I say. This album is amazing. I love each and every one of the tracks here, each track having a powerful flow and a story behind it, not going all over the place, not dabbling in excess effects and noises. Each track continues where the last one leaves off and develops in a new direction, or just an old one with a twist, giving this album a very complete feel. Pop it into your system, play, close your eyes and just listen. You won't regret it.
9/10, no less for the final verdict here. Yet some more proof that people can do their own thing and make it work in a way that no one has ever done before. I can't pick favorites here, except for maybe Square Lamp, but even that feels wrong without mentioning the rest of the album.

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