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Than Sadet


Makam, aka Guy Blanken, returns to Dekmantel Records with his first full-length album for the Amsterdam based label. Blanken's ongoing search for fresh sounds, textures and rhythms has lead him to Than Sadet, a gorgeous piece of work that takes his sound into new directions. Than Sadet displays a refinement of Makam's sound. The music is highly tactile, with an emphasis on the surroundings of the environment in which it was created. Blanken on the records: "Than Sadet is a secluded beach on an island in Thailand. A mysterious atmosphere haunts it. It's windy and the weather is always a bit worse compared to the rest of the isle. There are many cliffs and you can't swim because the waves are too high. Four years ago, I visited Than Sadet for the first time and I've been coming back ever since. At one point I decided to bring my studio equipment. For a week, I dedicated my days to making music. Those sketches formed the basis of the album." The inspiration on Than Sadet is obvious: From billowing percussion through windswept strings, to passages of strange bird calls, across desolate tracts of calving synthesizers, to a climax with a finale of petrifying thunder drums. The levels of dramatic suspense are sky-high, and mostly downbeat and mid-tempo grooves operating beyond the dancefloor. Blanken explains further: "Each track is based on a particular Than Sadet aesthetic. For example, 'Mr. Singh' is a masseur on the beach who uses fire while doing his shiatsus. 'Buddha's Bridge' is a wooden bridge that leads to an impressive Buddha monument; 'Seven Kings' is an ode to a local waterfall. Tracks like 'Mai Pen Rai' and 'When Light Gives You Hope' are representative for Than Sadet. I tried to create an introspective album that does what the island did to me: it puts life into perspective."