Review: Robin Ordell – FH11 [Finest Hour]
Robin Ordell is back on Finest Hour, the brainchild of Onirik and Pablo Tarno.
As a duo that grew up together from childhood, Onirik and Pablo Tarno went on to play gigs together in London between 2007 and 2012, building their musical relationship more and more. After years of bouncing off of each other musically and sharing memories in and out of club-life, the time came to step into something new and create a platform to put out music. Through their close friendship and taste in sound, their vision came to life in 2013. The label launched with an EP from Audio Werner and has since released ten records, featuring music from Robin, Voigtmann, St. Joseph, Arcarsenal and Tolga Fidan, as well as the co-owners themselves. The vibe of the label is one that stands out, combining stripped back cuts full of groove and depth with minimalistic flavours, loosely targeted toward the afterhours.
Robin Ordell is an artist who’s work fits perfectly with this ambition to roll into the afterhours, as well as tearing up many other set times. His sound is a combination of depth and minimalistic sounds, and he often incorporates an eerie undertone to his tracks, which can be heard particularly in his 2016 release on Discobar, entitled ‘Breakfast In Arkham’. As well as previous releases on Finest Hour and Discobar, Ordell’s discography also includes releases on Eklo, Hello? Repeat and Half Baked, a brand of which he has been a staple part of for many years.
This second release from Robin on Finest Hour sways more towards the deeper sounds that he has been known to produce. The names of the tracks have an intriguing story behind them too. After finishing the tracks, Robin played them to his friend Pascal, who has a condition called Synaesthesia. This condition means that the brain mixes up the signals of certain senses, meaning that colours can bring about certain feelings, looking at different numbers or letters can induce a certain taste or smell, and in many cases different sounds and pieces of music remind the person of specific colours. Pascal saw certain colours when hearing each of the tracks on the EP, and in turn, each track was named after the tones that he saw.
The release opens with ‘Flesh White’, which starts with some fairly industrial sounding percussive hits that carry on through the track, as well as an pattern of synth hits that rise slightly at certain points. Some other sounds are introduced, including more hats that scatter a little bit behind the other drum sounds in the mix, as well as a bell sounding synth that adds more emotion and depth, as well as a faint vocal that sound similar to that of an old black and white movie. This is definitely one to take a set to the next stage.
‘Grey Blue Blue Grey Yeah’ finished of the A-Side with some subby hits, and more stripped back hats and claps. In the background there is a a phased atmosphere that swirls around, before being accompanied by a deep pad a minute or so in that is very dubby. Adistorted vocal that repeats here and there also adds more variation as the track continues, and some additional sounds are incorporated which are more modular and robotic. The elements in this track come together and give a deep and slightly dark and dubby sound to the A-Side, without sounding too heavy.
The second side of the record starts with a track that sits somewhere between the tracks prior. ‘Purple Shaped : Where’s Your Sister’ has a combination of bass hits and metallic sounding percussion with a really nice amount of reverb giving them lots of life. A bassy synthesiser sound comes in and plods along throughout the track, before being joined by another synth, playing the same notes and adding another layer of emotion to the track, as well as various effects that pan around. This would be an amazing track to play and warp some minds at an after parties, leaving people in a slight trance.
Completing the release is ‘Eggs In Moonshine’, which is possibly our favourite track. The bassline is super fat, and when it starts to evolve and take on a more complex pattern early on in the track things start to get even more interesting. As always, there is a lot going on on the edges of the mix, effects and passes that and some great textures to the track. The longer pad hits that come in really round of the track perfectly, filling out some frequencies and creating a really laid back mood.
Onirik and Pablo’s vision has just been strengthened with another outstanding release, sure to be played by the scenes leading artists. The next artist to join the Finest Hour entourage will be Lee Burton, with an EP dropping this summer.
You can catch Robin playing this weekend in Berlin for Tresor Meets Deep In The Box, alongside Oshana and RNDM.