Review: The Poetic Intimacy Of Frederik Valentin & Loke Rahbek’s Ambient Soundscapes In ‘Elephant’

Frederik Valentin & Loke Rahbek | Elephant | Posh Isolation

Release Date: 28 February, 2020

There’s an inherent poetry within the works of Frederik Valentin & Loke Rahbek; a delicate romanticism surrounded their first 2017 collaborative effort ‘Buy Corals Online’: a tender, emotive narrative carefully woven within each timbre, coloured with vivid, auditory brush strokes. The specificities of each singular texture flowing effortlessly in companionship – sculpting an immersive soundscape, each track shaping the album into a focused whole. Their second LP ‘Elephant’ shimmers with a similar aura of a dreamlike, introspective journey – gentle cascades of intricate ambience rich with both acoustic and electronic waves, a lush, full submerge.

Danish producer Loke Rahbek, also known under his moniker Croatian Amor – is known for his ability to fashion ethereal realms: a distinct melancholic minimalism gleams simultaneously in his works with haunting electronics and bright experimentation. Coming together with eclectic multimedia artist and producer Frederik Valentin, also known for his work with experimental pop group Kyo and myriad of artistic endeavours: the duo’s second album together merges the abstraction of visual art into an auditory traverse, aptly released via co-founder Rahbek’s imprint Posh Isolation.

Touch And Vision‘ nourishes a sense of intimacy that shivers with a kind, thoughtful melancholia; as if awakening on cloudy day, glimmering dew drops peeking through the delicate light of gossamer curtains. Opening with the honeyed voice of a singular synth, it flickers gently within quietly crackling textures and a lush, immersive ambience – a compassionate static glistening as a distant rain. The tone of the track blossoms with a crisp, cool tenderness – a comforting sadness, almost; genuine and reflective in nature. The low, contemplative grace of a steady guitar line moves slowly in tandem with the contrasting synths, touches of acoustic timbres beautifully inviting – the track evokes a feeling of home.

Scarlett‘ is charmingly bright and melodic, the polished artistry present in its eight minute composition fashioning a emotional and dreamlike musical traverse. The aura gleams as a soft-hearted sun glittering through a partially cloudy sky – beautifully atmospheric with the gradual layering of electronic textures. A soothing, dulcet calm rests within the rich acoustic guitar melody; effortlessly harmonious and radiant, the refreshing golden tone accompanies a sunken beat – driven yet bashful. The swirl of starry synthesisers are sunlit and lyrical, sprouting harmoniously amongst the flourishing organic textures, blooming with luminosity – flowers with their fresh faces turned hopefully toward the sun, poetic and ethereal.

The emotion cradled within the atmospheric bliss of ‘The Heart Of Things‘ shimmers with a visceral ambience; a feeling touchingly personal in nature, the gradual rise and fall of an idyllic synth in opening segueing into samples of children’s voices – immediately recognisable as innocent youth enjoying their time on a playground. A wistful nostalgia sings sweet within the halcyon soundscape, mellow, acoustic guitar chords sentimental in a subdued rhythm – soft, silken keys tug lovingly on the heart-strings, accented remotely with phantoms of haunting electronics.

Elephant‘ is a scintillating artwork down to its very core; with Valentin and Rahbek crafting soundscapes within each track that allows the album to breathe as if a living thing, alive with a heart filled with nostalgia, longing and love; the intricate melancholy woven with the juxtaposing electronic and acoustic textures telling a very specific, very personal story easy for one to get lost in.

Stream & Purchase Elephant by Frederik Valentin & Loke Rahbek
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Feature Image: Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin, press-shot lifted via bandcamp.