Serein had a successful 2016, focusing on reissues for the labels most successful and defining releases so far (Nest and Brambles) plus a modern classical/ambient compilation that laid down an ambitious statement of intent, 'Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains Vol.1'.
The Welsh label has been synonymous with carefully considered output since its inception in 2005, so it's of no surprise to have to wait a year for a new artist to make an appearance, and it comes in the form of Latvia's Andrejs Eigus aka Selffish.
Releasing on netlabels back in 2002 and 2004, Andrejs emerges with a sound that harkens back to those peak electronica years, refreshed with a layer of refined composition you'd expect from the helm of Serein. Playing numerous instruments himself, Andrejs combines field recordings and precise electronics in a sound that reflects elements of the 00's pioneering electronica labels such as City Centre Offices and Mille Plateaux, with the added elements of piano, double bass, strings, saxophone and guitar. This combination set a defining sound for many of the aforementioned labels, with the late Susumu Yokota perhaps the closest comparison to Selffish's sound.
The juxtaposing metallic knoll and jazz-infused bass in Treijas, or the pensive static and bass licks in Willing Suspension Of Disbelief, both create an immersive atmosphere through purposeful separation and respect for two different sounds. The more fluid and electronic based, As The Leaves Fall, brings gentle keys and melody to the foreground in a manner that Arovane helped define on his album, Lilies. While, I Came To Leave, floats along like one of Air's most beautiful summer soundtracks, as the double bass gently rolls through the crackles undertow.
It's an accomplished album full of surprises, rooted in a true composer mindset, with the appreciation of the very best elements that have defined electronica over the years. All the ingredients are here; field recordings adding depth, flawlessly executed instruments adding style, and a well-found respect for the combinations that work perfectly together.
He She Them Us will be available April 21st on CD and vinyl, through Serein. Stream our favorite track from the album Willing Suspension Of Disbelief, below and the track I Came To Leave over on Bandcamp.
ASIP readers can also grab an exclusive 15% discount at the Serein store using the code "SERASIP15" at checkout.