I suspect it is something about the places that Mavelus has called home that helps creates his signature sound. The icy chill of Iceland, the place of his birth and the sub-sea level surroundings of The Netherlands, where he immersed himself in European club culture, both contributing to the blend of cool and clinical sounds and fleeting and fluid musical building blocks.
Fagri, released earlier this year from the EP Moberg, is an example of where ambient electronica and chilled clubland creations are heading in the modern age. Gone is the overly complex, overloaded and over-the-top use of sonic architecture, the unnecessary studio gimmickry and shallow sonic tricks, and in its place is a calm and calculated, understated and refined use of space.
The beats are used sparingly, the grooves have a fluid dynamic which flows gracefully, the bass beats pulse rather than propel, and the electronica is beguiling and transitory rather than the usual bombast and blast. All in all, it is understated and unusual, but perhaps it is a case of where this leads, other ambient artists will follow, so you should prepare yourself for a boom in the elegant and eloquent rather than more of the same.
There is something intriguing about Fagri, and Mavelus is happy to make an impact through the negative energies of his music, through the spaciousness and restraint, the anticipation and atmospheric build rather than merely giving the audience what they want. After all, when did the audience ever really know what they wanted?
Better to give them what they need than what they think they want, and Mavelus’ incredible music, and tracks such as Fagri in particular, are precisely what the scene needs right now. Less is definitely more. Right?