“This is an album of real quality with some shining moments that will become etched on the mind. From the broken beats of “Under The Fog Of A Winter Dawn” and “Unfinished Question” to the ethereal beauty of “Broken Clouds”, this album takes you on a journey, which is at times reminiscent of Boards of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss, but which carves out a sound of it’s own, that is uniquely “Northcape”. Detach yourself!”
“Music for a wistful afternoon epiphany”
“Northcape was a fresh surprise, that I discovered; while pre-screening another ambient CD offering. I really don’t get the direct musical connection to the very eclectic, Boards of Canada, except in regard to the pair’s ability to create very seminal, atmospheric constructs. If I were to attempt a futile comparison of Northcape to anyone, it would probably be, the reclusive Marconi Union offering [Distance]. This is the perfect muse-music for an afternoon of thoughtful reflection, or just a “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free” card for boredom between waystations. The production value is excellent with a great final result. This is an above-average effort on all counts, so please give it a try!”
Zephyr- comment left on cdbaby
“I first found Northcape on Last fm and downloaded a couple of tracks, as you do, but the mark of quality is that the same afternoon I bought the whole cd. I love this album, the tracks are like tickets to little mind journeys. ‘Under The Fog of A Winters Dawn’ is a fave but each one is a delight. Perfect for chilling out to, it’s rolling,inventive, haunting & atmospheric. Check out Northcape’s ‘Some Bright Valley’ a four track gem. A big recommendation from the world of headcage!”
Headcage- comment left on cdbaby
“Brilliant- perfect electronica. If you like Ulrich Schnauss, Jon Hopkins, Global Communication, prepare to become unreasonably happy. This is beautiful sun-filled electronica, that makes you realise how far the genre has come and how further it will go in the hands of an artist like this- the music is so simple and wonderful. It makes me want to hop in my car, pop this on very loud, and drive into the hills. That must make it good right?”
“As the proud owner of Northcape’s debut Cd “Letter to Nowhere” I was really looking forward to hearing this one and I wasn’t disappointed. The first album was excellent, but this one is even better, showing greater maturity in composition and production. This is chilled electronica at it’s best, with beautiful inter-twining melodic lines that wrap themselves around the brain and don’t let go. Great melodies are only half the story though as the right choice of sounds is important, and in this, Northcape proves to be a master of his art. Crystalline synths rise and fall against carefully thought out percussion and magical bass lines that hook you straight in and pull you into an enchanting musical journey. Northcape avoids all the pitfalls of this genre of electronica and never strays into insipid “New age” or the blandness which a lot of chilled electronica is prone to do. This music serves the brain as well as the heart and new things reveal themselves with repeated listens, always the sign of good music in my opinion.The stand-out tracks for me on first listen are “Detach”, “Hedges” and “Skyline”, but that’s not to take anything away from the other tracks which are all excellent. There’s not one track on this album I could give less than eight out of ten, which in my book means it’s a brilliant album and a must-buy. Anyone who’s into intelligent, chilled electronica would do well to check this album out. A consistently beautiful album full of great music.
Northcape excels at beautiful and fluid elctronica that could be described as melodic and mellow but would be better suited by the adjectives, evocative and sensual. He manages to use technology and the genre of electronica and make it sound like hands on instrumentation is being used. If synthesizers could be plucked, Northcape would be the man to do it. It’s also complex without being cluttered. Northcape really understands when less is more and that really helps to give some extra weight to the tracks. Not to say the tracks are sparse by any means, the layers and orchestration on the album are formidable. As you can probably guess, I am quite the fan of Northcapes work. This is an album that has been painstakingly put together by an artist in love with his craft. Everything is where it needs to be. If you like beautiful music then I would heartily recommend ‘Detach’ and while you are at it you may want to treat yourself with his first album, ‘Letter To Nowhere’. It’s records like this that help people understand that electronica does not have to mean cold and mechanical. Stand out tracks for me include, ‘Hedges’ , ‘High Water’ and ‘Fades’.
For those who are unfamiliar with Northcape, imagine music with rhythms of drums and bass driving melodies and atmospheric sounds that float along with a life of their own, seemingly detached and yet connected by the ethereal feel of the composition. The ambient pads create a bed of sound that supports the melody of delayed bells, chimes, and other assorted keyboards while the rhythm tracks add support like the unseen piers of a suspension bridge. I had the privilege of previewing all the tracks on “Detach”, the new release by Northcape, and my only disappointment was when each track ended. You will find the music will continue to weave its way through your mind long after the speakers have gone silent. From the title track “Detach” through “Skyline” all the tracks have a life of their own but the album also has a continuity that will have you playing it over and over. As with Northcape’s debut release, “Letter to nowhere”, I believe “Detach” will find a home in my six-disc CD changer where it reside for a long, long time.
Detach is no doubt reminiscent of Boards of Canada and the lighter works of Aphex Twin, but despite any influences Northcape has drawn upon the album stands strong as having its own character – warbling synths and cut up beats provide a warm sense of familiarity within a tapestry of sound woven with superb attention to detail. From the opening track, Detach, the album provides a lush ambience to ease the listener in and throughout fourteen tracks the album never loses its sense of space, an atmosphere that always complements the drifting harmonies and absorbing melodies. Sun Clears The Mind is a notable highlight – warm chords open the track as spliced drums push it forward before a spaced vocal fills out the ambience. Tracks like Rainfall offer a collage of found sounds and beautiful synth work that remains simple without feeling crude. Though often somewhat melancholy, Detach forms a compelling whole; it’s an engrossing album that rewards listeners with an ear for detail.