Makam Than Sadet
Tracklist Vinyl (2xLP)
"How I would describe the music? As tropical emo mystic dance." Longtime family member Guy Blanken a.k.a. Makam returns to Dekmantel Records with his first full-length album for the Amsterdam based label. Blanken’s ongoing search for fresh sounds, textures and rhythms has lead him to Than Sadet, a gorgeous piece of work that takes his sound into new directions. "Than Sadet isn’t a club record," Blanken says.
That Sadet displays a refinement of Makam’s sound. The music is highly tactile, with an emphasis on the surroundings of the environment in which it was created. Blanken: "Than Sadet is a secluded beach on an island in Thailand. A mysterious atmosphere haunts it. It’s windy and the weather is always a bit worse compared to the rest of the isle. There are many cliffs and you can’t swim because the waves are too high. Four years ago I visited Than Sadet for the first time and I’ve been coming back ever since. At one point I decided to bring my studio equipment. For a week, I dedicated my days to making music. Those sketches formed the basis of the album."
The inspiration on Than Sadet is obvious. From billowing percussion thru windswept strings to passages of strange bird calls, and across desolate tracts of calving synthesizers to a climax with a finale of petrifying thunder drums. The levels of dramatic suspense are ski-high, and mostly downbeat and mid-tempo grooves operate beyond the dancefloor.
"Each track is based on a particular Than Sadet aesthetic. For example, ‘Mr. Singh’ is a masseur on the beach who uses fire while doing his shiatsus. ‘Buddha's Bridge’ is a wooden bridge that leads to an impressive Buddha monument; Seven Kings’ is an ode to a local waterfall. Tracks like ‘Mai Pen Rai’ and ‘When Light Gives You Hope’ are representative for Than Sadet. I tried to create an introspective album that does what the island did to me: it puts life into perspective."