Stendeck – Scintilla

Stendeck - Scintilla

CD, Tympanik Audio, 2011
www.stendeck.com

On “Scintilla”, Stendeck provides an album that effortlessly mixes soft ambient and atmospheric components with deep and resonating rhythms into one cohesive combination, providing a remarkable and pleasing listening experience.
Each track has its unique ingredients, like the subtle bagpipe samples on “Feel the Flames Burning Inside Me”, the soft piano on “Catch the Midnight Girl”, or the interspersion of some dub influence on “Swimmers in a Sleepless Hour”. Because of all these differing items, the music constantly engages the listener, never losing its focus. And on top of this, there is always an underlying, driving rhythm that pushes each of the songs along.
As this album could be classified as IDM, it stands to reason that anyone listening to it will find themselves grooving along to the music, but they will also find that the beat never overpowers the rest of the music. Instead it works in harmony with everything else, providing a well-balanced attack on the aural senses.
All the songs have a full flavor and are fleshed out, but at the same time each track has a certain hypnotic factor to it. While this album is very dancey, it is also very introspective at the same time.  In fact, I would venture to say “Scintilla” has a meditative and refreshing aspect to it; more than once I envisioned myself strolling through an open meadow or taking a leisurely walk along a pristine beach while listening.
The only drawback is that it is hard to pick out one standout song on “Scintilla”. Each track tends to flow smoothly into the next one. It’s not as if each composition sounds the same as every other one, but that this album is to be enjoyed more thoroughly as a whole piece rather than as individual parts.
“Scintilla” is a great album on which the artist masterfully combines both soft and hard elements, within each song as well as throughout the entire release, for an enjoyable and worthwhile auditory adventure.

[8.5/10]

— Kevin Congdon