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MYTRIP - Keeper

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: AMEK amek044
Release Year: 2020
Note: the rising Bulgarian "technoid drone ambient" artist is back with a rousing new LP, rhytmic, loop based, emotionally complex... "More varied, freeform and self-assured than Filament, Keeper is equally immediate as it complex in sonic construction, meaning it draws attention on first listen and maintains it on repeated rotations. Recommended". - lim. 220 copies
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"The new Mytrip full-length album “Keeper” is a work of progress and growth, of pushing oneself out of comfort zones while managing to stay true to a carefully nurtured and developed aesthetic. A continuation of the sound hinted at in “Filament” (Amek, 2016) and Angel Simitchiev’s recent work with other projects, “Keeper” is a more rhythmic and loop-based work that explores and juxtaposes a plethora of atmospheres and moods, thus resulting in a sonically and emotionally complex and mature piece of music that manages to communicate its author’s singular vision.

The backbone of “Keeper” was originally written for a live performance at the Bulgarian National Radio in October 2018. Self-recorded with the intention to be preserved as a live album, most of the music retains the original structure, feeling, and intensity of this first performance but was further explored and expanded during recording sessions and selected live shows throughout the next year. Some ideas were dismissed while others were expanded on. As a result, “Keeper” has become a record that is polished and meticulous, while sounding and feeling utterly real, raw, and immediate."


"It has been a couple of years since I last checked in with the activities of Mytrip, but their 2016 album Filament was an excellent release which has received occasional spins over the years. In my review from 2017 I noted it: ‘operates at the border regions between dark ambient, drone, (modern) industrial and (abstracted) experimental techno, therefore encompassing a sound that defies easy categorisation’ (full review here). Keeper is the brand-new six tracks album and while continues also substantially builds on the earlier sonic framework by blending its elements in more varied yet unified way. Also, according to the promo blurb, the core of the album has its basis in a 2018 live performance at the Bulgarian National Radio, which has been further expanded and reworked.

Eyepiece opens the album with amorphous and ethereal drones blended with jittery programming and functions to immediately draw focused attention, before the mid-track it twists off in a different direction with sustained synth melodies. We Are All Shadow People follows and has a sense of stationary motionlessness resulting a series of duelling looped textures and abstracted synth lines. In then arcing away from this stasis, Unsealing Colossus divergently features widescreen vistas with sweeping ‘wind textured’ drones, muted melodious pulses and other semi-fractured rhythmic elements. Blood Black Like Water is then as brooding as the title suggests, based around a murky aquatic churn and throbbing base pulse, while a slow bass kick edges the track forwards. Upheaval shifts the mood again and is extremely filmic in tone, given its driving / throbbing techno pulse and maudlin cinematic synths, while the album’s concluding piece Warmth Patterns, is perhaps the most melodious track of all, with interweaving ‘glimmering’ textures (and perhaps draws a fleeting compassion to the likes of Fennesz).

Each of the six album tracks sits at around the five-minute mark, meaning the total run time is around 30 or so minutes, yet given its compositional variation it nebulously feels to be much longer than this. Equally the abstracted line-work found within nature as illustrated on the the cover is a suitable visual metaphor for the flowing complexity of the music. More varied, freeform and self-assured than Filament, Keeper is equally immediate as it complex in sonic construction, meaning it draws attention on first listen and maintains it on repeated rotations. Recommended." [Noise Receptor]

"Angel Simitchiev is the man behind Mytrip and also acting as the label boss here and as such we know him as a man who loves mood music of the somewhat darker variety. It has been a while since I last heard a full-length work by Mytrip (Vital Weekly 1059 I believe) and I wrote that he "no doubt plays guitar, electronics and field recordings", but that was based on nothing, to be honest. There is a picture of Mytrip on the insert, just second before he starts performing and there is no guitar in sight. A laptop, some 'gear' and that's all. Maybe there has been a shift towards different instruments in recent years that I am not aware of. In the music, this shift is quite clear. The music was written for a show in Studio 1 of the Bulgarian National Radio and later on, some fragments were dropped and others expanded upon. The dark mood from field recordings tuned and turned in drones is a still a presence but rhythm also plays a role now. Not stomping around, but carefully placed when needed, and omitted on other occasions. In 'Upheavel' the "rhythm" sounded like a Muslimgauze sample from the 'Azzazin' era. There is a warm glitch effect to most of the music here, which makes a nice effect for a change. It is perhaps a reminder of the warm days of laptop glitch from a long time ago, but Mytrip cleverly combines this with the best of processed drones and spacious dark ambient music, stringing together another hybrid of what ambient can be. Not something that is entirely new but with the addition of rhythm samples coming up with six fine slabs of dark mood music, which, strange as it may seem, never is the sound of despair, but of light and hope. Maybe I am all wrong but that's how it all sounded to me. Great record, all together." [FdW/Vital Weekly]