Let's look at Bolten M's 'El Heredero EP' on Renraku
Renraku has been synonymous with intelligent-design beat music since the very start, and their latest 11 track offering from Bolten M really affirms that.
The release feels genre-less however at the same time incorporates sounds, rhythms and structures found in an array of conventional genres and styles. The sound design on this whole release is nothing short of amazing. It reminds one of a futuristic sci-fi esq film maybe terminator meets oblivion and shines light on Bolten’s astounding ability to manipulate and warp sounds with ease to create soundscapes and malfunctions which some people can only dream of being able to create.
The whole release is inspiring and a must listen to any budding/established producer who wants to hear a true master at work. The release builds you up and down and really takes the listener on a ‘journey’. I do apologise this review is going to have a lot of movie references in it as when I listen to the release this is all that came to my mind.
Obsidian Pool (w/ Casual Hex)
The first track in this offering throws you straight in at the deep end with intense sound design which develops and grows over time. The listener is taking on the same journey as one experienced on a full motion picture and listening just conjures images of space and futuristic planet exploration. Bolten has created an emotion of interest and intrigue which draws the listener in and commands your attention.
The level of experimentation in this track is perfect, with long granulated noises whipping in and out of your hearing while a smooth atmospheric background lulls the listener into a false sense of calm. The way Bolten has adapted these warped sounds and malfunctions into a definitive piece of musical is magical and shows a level of design wizardry which wouldn’t be out of place in an experimental Aphex twins or Eprom set. This song screams to be in a SCI-FI film with its intensity and willingness to amaze.
EMPEA (w/ DET)
The song makes me think of walking the streets of Paris at 2AM – the cinema noir style piano which slowly guides you in has the character of a smoke-filled basement piano bar, however with all the trimmings we have now become accustomed to in Bolten’s songs. The drums which interrupt the song later accompany an array of warped bass sounds which zip around the spectrum of the sonic field. Both artists influences can be heard in this track and you can feel how they have both bounced off each other to create this magnificent track. The vocal that filters its way in and out of the track add to the daunting spooky feel of the track.
The rumbling Mid frequencies and glitched out picks at the beginning of this track are huge, it really follows on from Track 3 and builds in intensity. The noises in this one I would say are more meditative than its predecessors and allow the listener to sit back and just appreciate the skill which has gone into its creation.
The wetness of some of the growls in this track are otherworldly – as if you have encountered some old god in a swamp. Everything in this track seems so well thought out and demands the listener to be astounded by its complexity. The break at around the 3-minute mark divides the track up expertly and sends you into a spacey realm from which Bolten brings you straight back to reality with some twisted voodoo esq drums and malfunctions.
The title of this track is to the effect ‘Dead Bodies’ I felt this track was rejuvenating and maybe Bolten named it as such to request a ‘reset’ from the listener. The massively stretched noises we have come to be familiar with on this release come into their own and put one into a state of stark awareness – they’re a bit sharper and a bit harsher than what has previously come however they are still beautiful.
Suddenly a beautiful piece of piano dissects the track and throws the listener into another state of questioning and wonder. This track is the definition of experimental and again showcases Bolten’s amazing sound design and ability to incorporate some beautiful emotive music in an expert manner.
Hubo Un lugar
This track begins with a world music styled intro with strings and vocals which have an old world feel to them. Again, the vocals on this are so expertly affected and distorted it instantly creates emotion and connotes images and sensations of an older world, a forgotten time. This is the first track on the album which incorporates a ‘beat’ and in this regard Bolten doesn’t hold back, this one slaps like an angry mum!
What is beautiful about this track is the way it in and out of rhythm while the flow stays so perfect and concise. The last phrase of this track is just straight lush & definitely making you want to grab a big cup of F**K off juice and have a party.
This track is Bolten’s nod towards Drum & bass and has elements which remind one of the old school classics of Aphrodite & Dj Hype to name a few. Nevertheless, Bolten does the dirty on us towards the end again and splits the track up with his just throws you straight back into his warped world of stretched noises and sound design.
This is before dropping you straight back into that old school dnb flavour (the bit straight up sounds like ‘The Helicopter’ – big tune.
With this one we get a showcase of Bolten’s musical ability. Hitting in with a Lo-Fi aesthetic, however with his signature twists and experiments filtered in to keep in junction with the rest of the release and Bolten’s established Again, he blesses us with some beautiful Parisian style late night piano. This track is light, airy and connotes a level of inquest. This track is a cool down as such from the previous track and plays lightly on the heavy harsh stabs.
We are giving a contrasting beat here and are shown that Bolten has a lighter side which isn’t plagued by dark malfunctions and warped bass noises. This song is ethereal but still stays true to Bolten’s style and expertise. A well-placed divider and a statement piece in an already amazing release.
I love this one – feels like you’ve emerged out of the fray of a mind-altering experience. It builds on some ethereal pads with sweet angel like vocal cuts and malfunctions – the perc’s and scratches add an energised element to the track. This truly reminds me of a first-hand experience, and we are guided, with Bolten leading the way, back to reality and coherence.
Finally we have Recaida an outro tune that delivers the passenger back down to earth. The space used in this track is phenomenal and ends the release in a perfect way. Like a fine dessert wine after an amazing meal this song completes a true coup de grâce of listening experience.
This release guides you through emotions with Bolten as the pilot on a route of his own design. I rarely find a release which I thoroughly enjoy and am engrossed in. I must tip my hat to Bolten this release is truly outstanding and has inspired me as an artist.
Also, a big shout out to Renraku for supporting the scene and giving music like this a home where it sits so perfectly.