Review

Salamanda

In Parallel

Wisdom Teeth • 2023

Facta and K-Lone’s British label Wisdom Teeth specialises in the art of cultivated relaxation. This is also the case with the new duo, Salamanda, on the label. For their album »In Parallel«, Seoul producers Sala Uman and Manda Yetsuby have opted for slow tempos, soft, warm sounds, all blended together in such a way that it never becomes too cloying. More focused and less playful than »Sphere« two years ago, Salamanda let things run free, sometimes with a steady beat, sometimes almost without, layering their tracks inconspicuously through slow shifts during which marimba-like percussion forms informal connections with vocal loops cycling in the background. Or digital sounds as bright as glass bells form a gently flowing gamelan ritual, as on »Full of Mushrooms«. Specific Asian styles may have played a role on individual tracks, but if they do, they always merge into something decidedly intangible in combination with elements of pretty unclear origins. In all of this, the club is anticipated rather than emphatically brought into play. On the other hand, a track like »Tonal, Fluid« can move your body to dance, but it doesn’t have to. It’s another case of floating attention while listening. This music doesn’t appear to want anything from you, but it certainly has a lot to offer. If you let it.