Abstraxion (aka Harold Boué) and Kasper Bjørke came to together quite spontaneously for this project. Having never actually laid eyes on the other Harold flew over to Copenhagen and locked himself in a studio with Kasper to record an EP. The Origami EP was the consequence of this two-day modular synthesis binge, a fitting result for a 21st-century collaboration. First time we met, sums up the first encounter and appropriates a fitting title. Starting out somewhat subdued, you get the sense that the two artists are getting to know each other. The tones are simple and stark with the artistic duo stretching out the arrangement without clouding the essential parts. The tones are subtle and very little distracts from the dance floor agenda of the progression. Long sweeping legato movements fatten up the arrangement from time to time, deterring the music from falling into banal repetitiveness, while the percussive elements ensure a general progression. I feel like there’s a palpable familiarity that fortifies during First time we met as the track builds, brimming with confidence through the transcendent upbeat melodies that swim in their own space while the song marches towards its finale. It makes a lasting impression and it’s suddenly quite clear why Bjørke and Boué decided to persist in their endeavour for 48 hours. In their combined effort something just cliqued and it I’d like to think it inspired them to hole up in the studio longer to knock out another two tracks.
They continued along the same path, adopting the same strategy for Origami and Alkany. The formula remained the same; minimalist arrangements stripped back to its essential parts – sequential synth pattern, simple beat and a variable central theme. Alkany sees a saw tooth wave struggling to pull itself out of the depths of those low frequencies, while the steady kick paces in an agreeable dance tempo. A noisy splash eventually pulls the modulated saw tooth wave in to the highest frequencies and the track gains a new dimension before falling back in the familiar riff that opened it up. By the time we reach the title track the dance floor sensibilities of the EP are firmly established. It’s concurrent with likes of Daniel Avery and Factory floor, but at the same time it avoids being a trend-informed carbon copy. The familiar sound of the analogue synthesiser running through a pattern is at the heart of Origami, with the short sharp attack of a sine wave bleeping away in continuum, setting the pace for the track. An immutable vocal floats around the edges on this occasion in abstracted form to give the track a sense of some depth without fogging it up. The two artists are very precise in the way they apply the tonal and timbral modulation on this track, and the others, that they never fall into the unrelenting loop structure that often plagues music of this design. It’s a remarkable feat for a mere 48 hours considering this detail, and suggests that the two artists must be quite artistically compatible. Boumé and Bjørke have managed to carve out something unique by combining their efforts on Origami, that many collaborations have failed at given far more time. The EP is well defined and shows a reserved sensibility in its result, something that clashing egos would never have accomplished. It suggests there could be more hidden if they peel away the edges and explore their combined efforts further. I, for one, hope it will inspire a reprise.