Sora Shima - Destroy Electronica

Owain Paciuszko 17/02/2009

Rating: 3/5

In these ironic days and with a title like Destroy Electronica I was fully expecting this album to open with a burst of synths and processed beats, so was surprised to hear a quietly plucked guitar line joined by laidback drumming as first track Here Be Dragons got under way. Sombre twinkling glockenspiel is joined by hopeful ambient sounds in this relaxing and intelligent record from New Zealand's Sora Shima. This epic nine minute opening grows from a simple little tune into a huge Sigur Ros wall of sound with a calculated turn-on-a-dime, and it doesn't outstay it's welcome when many similar bands have long past theirs with tracks running a third as long as this.

River City Reversal has some of the elements I anticipated with reverse percussive noise being its only feature, it's one of those disposable moments that should seemingly serve the record as a whole but, on this occasion, just seems included because it was recorded.

Fortunately Calor Humano brings things back into focus, again combining guitar and relaxed drumming in a lucid and expansive fashion with strings creeping in warmly, creating a rich sound that is a great soundtrack to a calm night.

The listed final track, Hello Big Sky is a remix by Radio909 from Manchester and it mixes ambient sound with drums in a fashion similar to Unkle but without the same cinematic scope, and comes across as the weakest track on this EP the beats ill-fitting with the more relaxed sound rather than the two complimenting one another. The EP also includes an unlisted 'secret' track, though how secret an eight minute track can be is questionable, though what this timeframe contains is an undulating synth noise that never really rises above a whisper and, unless you're blasting this record through an enormous PA, may go completely unnoticed.