Pineselect Day EP






Nottingham-based producer Disko-ions – a clever wordplay on both his label Diskortion and, duh, an evident marker of the destructive concept of distortion – is back with another EP whose endemics and textures either prove to be nightmarish brutes for the sophisticated Ambient connoisseur or a most welcome passageway to previously lost but recently regained times. Called the Pineselect Day EP, its five tracks are available to fetch and stream at Bandcamp. The EP is the counterpart to the previously released Pineselect Night EP whose stompy beats, nocturnal flares and dim synth placentas encounter a greater chromaticity on the daylight version. This still does not tell the reader the aural specifications of Disko-ions, so I’d better throw around two genre markers which, I must add, are no mere bullshit terms but rather carefully chosen in order to frame the rhizomatic energies of the EP: Eurodance and Vaporwave. Both genres can be considered abhorrent insults to each party fully involved or those musicians shuttling in the outer peripheries of them, so let me explain. Disko-ions’ music uses the wonky flavors and wobbling peculiarities of these two genres plus a little dose of Rave heirlooms in order to let that certain feeling resurrect. This EP is by no means an erudite echopraxia of the 90’s, nor a mundane mimicry. However, Disko-ions is capable of encapsulating the vibe, verdure and pith of Eurodance. These instances are then ennobled by traces of Vaporwave and finally improved with glistening Ambient cloudlets. Here is a closer look at the potentially toxic concoction.


Wood Bins is a terrific opener that sits on the brink between many a genre and by this very definition closes out a lot of listeners who would have otherwise enjoyed a prolonged take of those segments and styles that flow through the enchanted coppice. Whatever one’s take on the various genre nods may be, it comes down to this, objectively speaking: after the introduction of a bird-accentuated field recording, the first arpeggiated retro synth stabs scythe their way through the fresh air. Rotatory and rufescent, their energy forcefully reminds of 90’s Eurodance, as does the pulsating breakbeat aorta with its aqueous snares and argentine lanthanoids. Where is the ambience in that? No worries, it arrives in the shape of elasticized polar lights and pristine flute-like undulations of innocence. Severely outshone by the playfully nasty fusillades of coruscating convulsions, Wood Bins is a lively lizard, upbeat as well as uplifting, and might console the Ambient aficionado with an encore of the field recording during its closing phase. Courtyard meanwhile is much more seraphic and ethereal, as it sports a rapturous synth choir at its epicenter whose downwards-spiraling three-note melody evokes as much elation as nostalgia-driven gravitas. The faux-drum kit beat ctenidium nearby, however, does not allow any compunction or senescence but boosts the aureoles and luminescence of the equally bustling scenery. Synth arpeggios are resurrected as well. The beat-focused presentation during the track’s apex might feel a tad too mechanistic and hyperpolished, but these thoughts notwithstanding, Courtyard is less a place of shelter and more of a parkour-insinuating vestibule to chromatic technicolor undercurrents.


The third track Mongoose Trax is a polyfaceted sparkler whose ingredients and their unfolding interdependencies are harder to pinpoint. The beat is both laid-back and dynamic, the mellowed bass protrusions multiplex thermal heat and acroamatic arcana; a certain emptiness cannot be denied, Disko-ions fathoms the cautiously veneered emptiness in favor of feistier layer cavalcades. Naturally, the song progresses and sees its sinews multiplied, but even this cavernous, dedicatedly reverberated state emanates insouciance and carefreeness. Blotchy square lead droplets, gleefully spectral drone nebulae and bleepy prongs altogether merge in a beautiful way. The Nottingham-based producer shies away from saccharified superfluids (aka the Bubblegum Pop formula) and prefers to inject adjuvants of clandestine notions. Mongoose Trax is still a bright panorama, one that is absorbed through a dun-colored filter. Ruff Ford then ventures on to another no-go area for many a listener, but the result, as plastic as it seems, remains catchy and ameliorated enough to give it a chance: Italo piano goodness. The early 90’s live up again, wash over the listening subject like a reticulation of oneiric figments. The atmosphere is aeriform and vertiginous, jagged rain pads and the most vigorous 4/4 beat pattern unite with echoey piano catenae in order to make this trip a retrogressive one. That this is a post-millennial production is nonetheless noticeable by means of the transcendentally wafting Ambient granuloma: glacial and sky-high, the sophisticated fluxion of this purified liquid is more about plasticity than plastics. The final track Ling Hanger lets the bystander feel the wrath of Vaporwave vesiculation. Korg acidity, calcined three-note synth loops and a serpentined syrinx sybaritism tumble through the whitewashed shopping mall. Rave patterns are on board as well, showcased by the pitched cherubim who sings along to the increasingly iridescent intermixture. Add antediluvian handclaps to the moiré, and consumerism shall be yours to keep.


The Pineselect Day EP spraypaints life-affirming endeavors and journeys through copses, groves and natural habitats. That this is done via a synth-based setup does not evoke a counterargument anymore, for New Age artists did and do the same thing; bringing the Kalahari Desert or moon dust-covered areas to life via the stacking of selected electricity-demanding equipment is no big deal anymore. It is important, however, that synthetics and aesthetics coalesce in order to prevent a work from becoming all too arbitrary or alatoric. The Pineselect Day EP is a synergetic work of many blendings, possibly one too many blendings even. The ideal listener, relatively speaking of course, would be a fellow who adores the artificial soundscapes of 90’s dance music, no matter how incredibly sugary, irrelevant or shameful these projects turned out to be. It is the tonality of Eurodance, not the production technique itself, which finds a home in Disko-ion’s music, and while this is probably not the greatest compliment you can dish up for an artist, I mean it sincerely and do not enforce any harm! Whether it is the greatly captivating staccato hook on Wood Bins, the purposefully unleashed Italo piano interim fad on Ruff Ford or the more or less hammock-friendly concrete jungle at dawn that is Ling Hanger, there is much to enjoy… if one is keen on that certain corny timbre. There is a current resurrection of 90’s MTV memorabilia, 16-bit videogame arcana and VHS worshipping going on, with its culmination point being the Vaporwave movement, so if this is indeed your cup of tea and you search for the spirit of these times, both the Pineselect Night EP and the Pineselect Day EP are valuable choices to consider.


Further listening and reading:

  • You can fetch and fully stream the EP at Bandcamp
  • Disko-ions and his label are on Twitter: @diskortion.


Ambient Review 335: Disko-ions – Pineselect Day EP (2014). Originally published on Apr. 23, 2014 at AmbientExotica.com.