Kiasmos – “Blurred” EP (2017)

Janus Rasmussen and Ólafur Arnalds are back at it again with another new EP released under the Kiasmos name. The pair, both successful in their own rights, have garnered quite a following in the EDM world with their style of uptempo ambient that successfully combines quiet, almost classical passages with deep, organic, pulsating beats. Their latest effort, the six-song Blurred (two of the tracks are remixes), came out a few weeks ago and my vinyl copy just arrived in the mail. And it’s excellent; from the packaging to the sound quality, no detail was spared.

Certainly ambient electronica is nothing new, nor is incorporating classical instruments and components into electronic compositions. What Kiasmos does better than anyone, though, is merge the two with a fluidity and poise that is surprisingly coherent, blending the flows of ambient with more beat-driven EDM to give us something special. Something calming that also forces your body into motion, changing your velocity without you even realizing it’s happening.

Blurred doesn’t deviate from the Kiasmos “formula”, so if you like their prior work you’re going to enjoy this EP as well. I’d love to seem them push the envelope a bit and possibly even have Rasmussen put vocals, even if just sampled, to one of their tracks – he’s a talented singer as is evidenced by his work with Bloodgroup and I think it would add an intriguing element to Kiasmos’ sound if used judiciously.

I’m bummed to see that Kiasmos is only playing one set at Iceland Airwaves this year, and it’s actually on Tuesday night, the day before the festival officially kicks off. Fortunately I’m heading to Reykjavik a few days early this year and will be able to catch their set, because they’re not to be missed.

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