Bulgarian duo 1000 Names debut on Kelpe’s Drut Recordings with their fourth LP, Migration Pads – an elegant 10-track outing glowing with warmth and nostalgia. Following earlier releases on Black Acre, Eklektik and Project Mooncircle, 1000 Names are the next to join the Drut stable after Chesslo Junior’s passionate debut back in May.
After bubbling up amongst the dynamic experimentalism of the global beat scene, it’s little surprise that 1000 Names have come out the other end with an inbuilt knack for incredibly finessed sound design. Pushing play on Migration Pads opens up a flood of lush sonic environments, and a whole gust of local and international inspiration. Without losing the influence of MPC-led beat culture, the album manages to shift elegantly between soft-focus house compositions to spacious off-beat electronica and beyond.
1000 Names is a moniker taken from the famous Anish Kapoor sculpture, owing to the pair’s early introductions to music and art (Margg started out as a drummer; Nikko, a painter). The new album is built of their open willingness to new forms and combining disparate styles: half-time technoid drum templates follow straight after fuzzy loops; footwork-honoured vocal loops stab through shimmering piano lines. It’s all of it, and everything in between.
1000 Names’ Eastern European heritage and geographic isolation have fostered in them a truly individual sound. The sun-baked sandscapes of their hometown Sofia loom large behind the album, manifesting in warm chords and textured synth washes. It’s a glow of nostalgia that smoulders under the whole record, softening the jumpy beats and harder drum-mechanics that punctuate its clubbier passages. Without straining to do so, it is a record that dials up a whole range of emotion and feeling, from the loping triumph of opener ‘The Caravan’ all the way through to the washy melancholia of its final track, ‘Winter Pool’.
Migration Pads is a tall creative landmark for 1000 Names, travelling far beyond their earlier beat-workouts to a much more mature sound-world built on a whole host of classic electronic influences. Still, there’s one compelling echo that remains: you can still practically hear their beating fingers hammering the MPC. Migration Pads just takes their inherent musicality and amplifies it to heady new stratospheres.
Published: 2nd October 2014