ANKO – Waved

EP Rating: 8.5 – A thoughtful playground of noise, rhythm and samples

Photo: Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Comprised of Nicolas de Ferran and Antoine F. Martin, ANKO is a Paris-based duo who started songsculpting together years ago for TV shows and documentaries in France. The duo debuted their first EP Waved on March 20th of this year and was recorded in their own studio, Krispy Records Studio.

ANKO’s debut EP Waved is one that brims with reflection, silence, chaos, and offbeat smaples. But what makes it an ear-stopper is its seamless ability to dice and synthesize futuristic sounds with raw classical ones. The opener “Opale” is a gorgeous melodic architecture of raindrop samples and bubbling synths that capture the lone, refreshing sensation of being immersed into a flow. Its three-dimensional sound sets the tone of the record where various samples and sputtered beats start uncoiling from the shrouded corners.

The following, “Fleur,” is a lysergic combination of warbly chords and shards of synths that resonate the overpowering beauty of nature. The sputtering sonic structure yields a transcending polyrhythmic intensity where the listener gets swallowed up by the colossal samples. The unexpected murmured choruses towards the end and disembodied croons add an extra ethereal dimension to it.

ANKO takes an unexpected turn at the midpoint of the EP. “Aurore (Interlude)” is the intersection between classical and futurist soul where ANKO add a speech snippet of 1972’s composer Leonard Bernstein towards the end:

“And no matter how serial, or stochastic, or otherwise intellectualized music may be, it can always qualify as poetry, as long as it is rooted in Earth. … I believe that from that Earth emerges a musical poetry, which is by the nature of its sources tonal.”

With “Aurore” the duo makes the listener pause with them and reflect on the philosophical aspect of music by revisiting Bernstein’s speech.

Following Bersntein, ANKO glides us into an orchestral piece of piano-powered soundscape with “May.” The piano sing loudly where the succession of keys drip with spontaneity and zest. The duo makes a smooth jazz exit with the track “Rain” where they pull elements of trumpet and strings in the breezy midtempo where they capture the joy and sensuality of wistful solitude. It’s a thoughtful balance between stillness and dance, where ANKO toys with an array of synths and instruments. Waved is ANKO’s playground where the duo lets us into the pleasure of indulging into the poetic nature of sounds.

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