ANN – Certain Colors

Submerged progressions, underlying metallic drones, and environmental sounds that appear from some far away, desolate landscape. This is how ‘Crimson’ begins; the opening track of ANN’s ‘Certain Colours’ released earlier in May on the Berlin-based label, Seasides on Postcards. ANN is the project of Marcus Block, also of Berlin, exploring multiple experimental approaches to electronic music and embracing the imperfections that come with forming new directions.

From here, very minimalist additions begin to emerge, bringing the sparse and uncertain bass sequences that offer a foundation to the murky and foreboding soundscapes that characterise the album. Touching on elements of dub, electronica, and minimal techno, Block successfully creates a body of work that draws from a wide range of influences whilst becoming something entirely of itself.

As we progress track-by-track, the real intricacy within the work is realised. Where ‘Ocre’ introduced bold beats, ‘Orange’ dismantled them into more obscure territory. By the time ‘Purple Hue’ edges towards its closing moments, vibrant glitches and manipulated passages have taken over; a significant departure from where the opening moments of the album were pointing. ‘Vermillion’ throws back to opening track, although with less ominous undertones. The familiar rustling within field recordings stretch to the listener’s periphery as ghostly voices mutter and dissipate.

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A common downfall when attempting to translate a listening experience into words is to focus on the technical side of the music making process, or to establish comparisons with other artists prematurely. ‘Certain Colors’ provides enough ambiguity and intrigue to where these things don’t matter. The album becomes what both artist and label intended: a unique and complex listening experience.

ANN – ‘Certain Colors’ (SOP003) is out now via Seasides on Postcards, available as a limited-edition Digipak CD and digital download. Artwork and photography by Daniela Orvin.

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