Melorman: After Noon
Sun Sea Sky Productions

Antonis Haniotakis brings the harmonious and melodic sides of his music to the fore on this Melorman follow-up to the 2009 full-length Out In A Field (issued on the Japan-based Symbolic Interaction label). The Greece-based electronic producer produces a distinctively warm and finely sculpted brand of ambient-IDM under the Melorman name, and, though it's never communicated as such explicitly, one guesses, upon listening to After Noon, that Haniotakis isn't wanting to revolutionize his chosen genre so much as simply contribute another chapter, albeit a splendid one, to its voluminous catalogue. In keeping with that, After Noon, a pristine blend of luscious harmonic swells and arpeggiated keyboard patterns, is expertly crafted with not a note or beat out of place.

He gets a bit of help from vocalist Amy Duncan on “Celia,” but After Noon is otherwise all Haniotakis. That track, incidentally, is a perfect exemplar of the Melorman style, in its neatly arranged mix of skittish programmed beats, softly glimmering melodies, and atmospheric ornamentation. There's no shortage of melodic splendour elsewhere either, as serenading cuts such as “Open Your Eyes” attest. Suffusing many of the songs is a a yearning quality of the kind Sigur Rós has refined to a state of near-perfection. That aspect is bolstered by the presence of ethereal female voices that—as Duncan is credited with appearing on “Celia” only—one guesses are computer-generated. In addition to the classic electronica-IDM of “Two and a Nine” and the appropriately laid-back “Saturday Morning,” “Under a Shelter” and “Inside Your Dream” veer into downtempo hip-hop territory when Haniotakis opts to animate them with lurching beat patterns. After Noon may be modest in presumed intent, but it's a satisfying forty-minute collection nonetheless.

September 2011