Olan Mill - Cavade Morlem
Basic feelings don't need many words to be expressed in; love or hate, rage or empathy, they can flow in a simple, but yet powerful stream. But this nevertheless doesn’t make them less significant and valuable. You don’t have to wrap something that you truly feel into a glossy paper; the only thing that matters is honesty and energy. That's why, when you approach the new album of UK based artist Alex Smalley hiding behind the name Olan Mill, don’t expect it to be highly structured. Minimalism is a keyword in discovering "Cavade Morlem" and your imagination is the best tool to explore the quite short, but sill beautiful record.
Olan Mill is active in the ambient scene for more than five years. He joined Dronarivm records already having on his shoulders a pack of really strong releases. In one of his interviews Alex explains such a strange choice of the name which is frequently mistaken to be his real name instead of pseudonym:
"…I like faceless music and often find it works better when a creator's personality is abstracted or removed. I met Olan Mill once and she was nice to me, I particularly liked her name so one day I stole it…"
During its first steps of sound exploration, Olan Mill was a duo in which Svitlana Samoylenko contributed actively to the music making process of Alex Smalley. The two of them met while working at a high security mental hospital: Alex as a head of the music department and Svitlana as a psychologist. But somehow (maybe there is a kind of a background story) their ways parted after releasing several CDs together, and “Cavade Morlem” sees the light of this world being a fruit of Alex on his own.
If talking about abstract forms of sound, this UK resident is surely far above the average user reaching a truly meditative level of sensual manipulation. But first of all, I would like to ask from all those that find droning soundscapes to be dull and boring: Please, step out of this room, because the next forty minutes will be a total waste of your precious time. As I mentioned previously, minimalism of the forms doesn’t indicate a lack of creativity by any means, but converts textures into their primal yet colorful specters. Each composition has some kind of a simple and light melody driven by piano or violins, but if you transfer this simplicity through a prism of your imagination, you will witness a beautiful transformation, like staring into the hole of an kaleidoscope and watching basic geometrical forms weave into elaborate patterns of remarkable beauty.
If you can compare music to painting, "Cavade Morlem" is a landscape aquarelle, blurred and fuzzy, and its interpretation has to be considered by the observer himself. Warm colors are replaced by colder ones, rain is pattering on the roof, images pass slowly before my eyes, and finally some kind of calmness wraps my injured soul with its gentle touch. My mind reaches a truly meditative state floating with the compositions like "Gurriva" and "Mussart", getting free from all negativity inside "Tallole" and "Somimes". The only thing to regret about this is that the record has only 38 minutes to dissolve in. But I must state confidently that Olan Mill is a decent recruitment to a constantly expanding family of Moscow based Dronarivm records.