The signing of Aðalsteinn Guðmundsson’s fifth album to Delsin Records is significant, not just for Guðmundsson, but for the genre he’s helped pioneer. Netherlands-based Delsin has been fostering well respected names like Mike Dehnert, Delta Funktionen, Redshape and Conforce for years, and has long been a beacon for techno’s elite. Despite the occasional leftfield signing (see John Beltran’s, “Amazing Things” last year), the label still very much caters to the DJ craft. This ensures plenty of deck-focused ears will be giving this record a listen and while the idea of mixing ambient-leaning techno is certainly nothing new, it’s been some time since we’ve seen it presented on this stage. With a decade’s worth of ground-breaking work under his belt, Yagya’s legacy will no longer remain quietly cherished by deep techno’s underbelly.
Sleepygirls brings forward some of the celebrated elements from Guðmundsson’s Rhythm of Snow and Rigning, revived with a fresh coat of low-end paint, live instrumentation and a couple of guest vocal performances. The album is entirely mixed and wastes no time immersing you in familiar warmth. There is such an effortless flow to Yagya’s sound and even though this challenges the album’s overall dynamic, there is a sense of reliable comfort in its consistency. Turn the album on and turn yourself off, it’s a wonderful escape.
Mid-way through we’re treated to some of Guðmundsson’s heaviest hitting material. This is still far from a club record, but there is a fresh, punchy energy to these tracks which is sure to please fans who were left longing for a bit more out of Yagya’s 2012, “The Inescapable Decay of My Heart”. There is also something about this genre and the world of jazz just seem to work so well. 8 tracks in, the pace plateaus allowing some tasteful improvisation to carry you effortlessly through. It couldn’t have been more perfectly timed and stood out as a highlight.
Fans are going to love Yagya’s fifth album. It doesn’t breakaway from tried and tested formulas of the past, but it refines enough of the edges to challenge its predecessors as the new favorite. It’s also the perfect introduction to his long line of work and fresh ears will undoubtedly be encouraged to go explore a discography many of us have been enjoying for some time.
Available on Delsin on 3xLP, CD and digital formats on 26th May.