When you’re discovering new music is there one over-riding element that makes you fall in love with it? Is it the melody? Is it the style? Is it the beat? Is it the vocals? Does it have to make you cry? Does it have to make you want to dance? What do you look for? For us it’s often a whole host of different elements to the music that allows us to connect to it – in truth we imagine it’s perhaps the same for you – but time and time again there’s one particular feature that gets our internal smile going – originality. It’s something that’s sadly all too rare in music, but perhaps that’s not surprising, with us now approaching nearly one hundred years since contemporary music was born, through the genres of blues and jazz, which kicked off a century that eventually evolved into rock n roll, pop, and all the rest. If you think about all the artists that truly stood out over those years, the best ones are original, although taking inspiration from what’s gone before, they undeniably sounded fresh and it’s that element of newness that gets our tails wagging above all else.
Today is perhaps a tougher environment in which to discover authentically original music, as in spite of such a broad range of genres and styles now on offer, plus an array of new technologies that allow boundless limits to creativity, it is a rather saturated marketplace and so much has actually now been attempted. However, music is art when considered at it’s most basic level, so in truth the only real limits are on the human imagination, and let’s fact it, that’s pretty limitless. At this junction in the discussion we’d like to bring in Rangleklods, a male solo artist who has recently returned home to his native country, Denmark, having spent time studying and working in Berlin. The discovery can be credited to Uncle Al, an old family friend of The Recommender, who’s always been something of a raconteur – also from Denmark – who’s passion for music discovery has never waned. He’s recently connected us with a few new Danish artists that we will be bringing to these online pages over the coming posts, but today’s is a particularly special find. Upon hitting play on the three or four songs currently available on Rangleklods’ websites we were immediately hit by that one essential ingredient we hunt so hard for – originality. Bing!
Even the name Rangleklods is an original word, which we incorrectly assumed was Danish, but it turns out that he made the word up, so it didn’t allow people any misconceptions about the music prior to hearing it. He has one debut EP, Home, currently available, with a new single, Clouds, due out on February 20th, entirely self-produced by the man behind this project, Esben Andersen. To try and describe his music would prove somewhat folly, as it grows in different directions, often shifting lanes entirely at the centre of a song. Essentially it’s a blend of melodic, left-field pop and computer-blended electronics, with Anderson’s vocals laid softly over the top of them, but it’s not quite like anything else you’ve heard. His voice reminds us of a young Chris Martin, but rather than allow that to put us off it actually seems rather endearing, as this is the kind of music that Chris Martin would never write, so it acts as a sweet juxtaposition that fucks with your head, initially at least. The voice takes on a more Sting-like quality on the track, Behaviour, but instead of some horrible Police-esque, new wave/reggae/rock/pop hybrid, we instead have behind him a heavier, sinister sound and a rather dark story of seducing women, as he instructs us that, “she’ll give you everything you want“.
Elsewhere the EP’s title track, Home, is another lengthy pop song – his tunes often average over five minutes per song – that arrives in hypnotic pulses. Simple claps are over-laid with his vocals in a patient start which never really lets you know where its going, but although it’s drop is creeping ever-closer it changes key when it comes, providing the first unexpected switch in gear that seems to be his trademark. The pulses get heavier and the whole tune goes through warps, almost sampling itself as it twists and grows, but it never suffocates under it’s own self-indulgence; it just doesn’t feel like anything else out there. After four minutes it eventually finds the light at the end of the tunnel he’s created for you, as he brings it back to the song’s foundations. The finest moment on the EP arrives with Young & Dumb, which has his familiar throb throughout, as he paints a descriptive picture with words of foolishly falling in love too easily as a young man. He brings things to an abrupt close mid-song with the line “that’s why I only do girls I barely just like“, but it’s not over. It then picks up the warped pulse again and sets about delivering another two minutes of utterly astonishing hooks and breaks. A pretend ending? Now that’s adventurous! This is Scandinavian experimentalism at it’s brightest and best. The full debut album, Beekeeper, is due out March 12th but they’re still looking for distribution outside of Denmark. With Rangleklos we have someone who is able to bridge the ambitious and the accessible, but most importantly we’ve learned to understand the unique, admirable quality that is required to unlock originality – bravery – and this guy has it in spades. (MB)
RANGLEKLODS – YOUNG & DUMB
RANGLEKLODS – BEHAVIOUR
RANGLEKLODS – HOME