Boliden – Then (Oxtail Recordings)


Spanish electronic producer / multi-instrumentalist José Delgado first introduced his Boliden alias with his 2015 cassette-only album ‘Meta’, and since then he’s continued to release new music at a prolific rate, with this latest album ‘Then’ offering up his sixth longplayer in just five years of activity.

While subtle techno rhythms maintained a presence on his preceding 2016 collection ‘Landscape And Memory’, they only make a brief appearance here, with the majority of the 13 tracks here leaning firmly towards downbeat / ambient electronics, infused with gauzy shoegazer guitar elements and opaque dream-pop vocals. Above all the emphasis is on textural lushness here, with ‘Nite’ opening proceedings with a suitably nocturnal swirl of brooding ambient pads, glimmering melodic notes and delicately muted keys that offers a smooth slide down into tranquil waters.

‘You Said’ meanwhile places Delgado’s looped and pitch-shifted vocal harmonies at the centre of the mix alongside sparse clattering hiphop beats, the wavering elements conjuring a hypnotic chillwave feel that suggests a more pitched-down Caribou given an added bass kick. Elsewhere, ‘Slab’ ventures out into ambient post-rock as plucked guitar chords get slowed down and stretched out into ghostly wavering tones against a background wash of tape noise and digital static.

It’s only on tracks such as ‘Capsule’ and ‘Leak’ that the blurred out 4/4 kickdrums begin to surface, the former track sending shuffling snares skipping against a distorted backdrop of frigid sounding ambient textures, before the latter winds Delgado’s looped vocals around a juddering undercarriage of lo-fi house rhythms and warbling electronic bleeps that’s more akin to the Accidental label. Well worth investigation.


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