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Live Review: altopalo's release 'Blur//Frozen Away' is a double dose of experimentation

17 April 2018 | 9:37 am | Julie Fenwick

Confusing, assorted and experimental. After two years we welcome back altopalo (who hate the uppercase 'A') with their new sound on 'Blur//Frozen'.

If you’re anything like me and you like to have a bit of diversity or something a lil’ bit different on your playlists, I’d strongly suggest you check out ALTOPALO’s latest double release ‘Blur//Frozen Away’. After a two-year hibernation that has evidently resulted in a mellowing out of their style, the group return with a sound that can only be described as ‘assorted’. From heavy beats to piano samples, digital glitches and twanging guitar, the songs have an uncanny ability to confuse.

‘Blur’ starts things off slow, introducing space-like and futuristic themes. It is often dark with atmospheric bass drops, hidden human ‘screams’ and, surprising acoustic trills. It evokes a feeling of uncertainty, projecting the listener in one direction only to pull them back quickly and shoot them out into another. It’s really confusing though effective, and - with its use of come-hither vocals and silver-edged synths - it ultimately delivers an enthralling experience, spitting the listener out into the quiet bliss after the tumultuous ride to get there.

‘Frozen Away’ is a little more harmonious, though still as eclectic. The melodies seem to congeal into a structured track whilst underneath hides an assortment of hidden complexity. It is beautifully crafted, the worldly influence more apparent and the space-like themes fading out slightly. Despair seems to be its theme of choice, a heavy weight of dark-nostalgia holding it down, as if in some kind of bad dream.

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This is a new direction for NYC locals altopalo and it's as refreshingly experimental as it is deceivingly simplistic. Exploring a new sound that is openly welcome and will be a sure hit at live shows, altopalo have struck experimental gold here, and we can't wait to hear more.