London-based Infinite Scale has established a strong reputation in the field of electronica; proving himself very adept in mastering that elusive trick of making emotional and memorable instrumental music, which has led to excellent recent albums, 2009’s ‘Ad Infinitum’ and ‘Ekko Location’ from 2011. Harmi Palda’s latest release, ‘Living Moments’, is a collection of ambient works culled from recordings made between 2002 and 2010.
At the beginning, ‘And So It Began’ and a disarmingly pretty ‘Across The Otherside’ present lonely piano melodies brought further into stark, haunting realms by the use of echo. Yet just when you think this is going to be a compilation of quiet, minimalist pieces, ‘Failure Of An Excuse’ then enters the fray with lurching bass and tabla contrasting with smooth synth lines. ‘Almost An Ending’ and the emotive strains of ‘Protect Me’ dip their toes into classical waters and the eerie samples used on ‘Hello Harry’ assist in adding to the chill factor.
A few of the instrumentals here are mere fragments; the kind which begin promisingly and then end just when you’re beginning to become involved with them. However, ‘Change In The System’, one of the lengthier pieces, unfolds from techno into Eastern rhythms and its meandering sinister melodies makes it a highly intriguing moment. The lovely ‘She Flies The Kite’ at once evokes a feeling of innocence, clear skies and freedom yet ‘Under Bright Lights’ arguably tops the lot with its moving, yearning melody built up by layers of stately piano, shifting synths and beats.
‘Living Moments’ is an evolving record which builds from spare piano-led moments into fully formed ambient pieces, often seamlessly merging into other genres. Far from this being a collection of off-cuts not considered worthy of previous albums, then, here is a collection of tracks which emphasise the depth and versatility of Palda’s oeuvre.
David Newlyn, Boltfish Recordings