RJ VALEO: Atman (Io Records)


Posted on Oct 8th 2010 01:07 am

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RJ Valeo: Atman

Io Records 2010
10 Tracks. 65mins46secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

In the ten years since he released his debut album, under the Transelectronic Theory moniker, New York-born Richard John Valeo has published quite a considerable number of records, not only on his own Io imprint, but also on labels such as Moodgadget, Type or Sutemos, spanning quite a wide array of genres, from tech-house to microbeats, techno to ambient, all this under a variety of monikers. His latest offering, Atman, released early in the summer, is said to be inspired by a concept which can have a somewhat different meaning whether approached from a Hindu or Buddhist point of view. How this actually affects the music remains quite unclear, but Valeo creates here a very harmonious and hypnotic soundtrack, which relies on vast atmospheric soundscapes ridden with deep dub undercurrents and beautiful electronica strands.

Over the course of just over an hour, Valeo embarks on a journey which takes him from the warm beat-less stretches of Chasm, the guitar-infused Safe Harbor, which recalls some of Robin Guthrie’s most textural work, especially in its first half, and When Things Weren’t So Complicated to the quietly hypnotic The Whole Truth, Richter Scale 6 and Late Night Hours or the dreamy The World Of Tomorrow and The Other One. What is striking is the feeling that the whole album was designed to follow a particular cycle, where the listener is taken through a variety of stages before eventually returning to the starting point.

Valeo’s main musical inspiration here is said to be informed by minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, combined with a particular aesthetic when it comes to electronic music. While he evokes the likes of The Orb of SND, there are also clear Detroit influences throughout Atman as he creates extremely fluid electronic pieces with strong rhythmic patterns and blissful melodic themes. The resulting soundtrack is at once refreshingly contemporary and timeless, a record of its time, yet never weighted down by any trend or gimmicky fad. Tracks such as the rather splendid Through The Noise, Richter Scale 6 or Late Night Hours, while often complex and abstract, remain extremely accessible and prove to be truly evocative pieces.

Written and recorded over a year and a half, using a wide array of sounds and field recordings, Atman actually sounds surprisingly consistent and focussed. Atman may denote a slightly more tamed approach than some of his previous projects, but this is very much to the benefit of the record, its peaceful tones and brushed electronics contributing greatly to create a rather stunning set.


RJ Valeo | Io Records
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

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One Response to “RJ VALEO: Atman (Io Records)”

  1. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 29 Dec 2010 at 11:54 pm

    […] Schattenspieler (Miasmah Recordings) 47. MAX RICHTER Infra (130701/Fat-Cat Records) 48. RJ VALEO Atman (Io Records) 49. RICHARD SKELTON Landings (Type Recordings) 50. BIRD SHOW BAND Bird Show Band […]