Founded by the Berlin band Jazzanova, the Sonar Kollectiv label has been steadily releasing enticing music of the nu-jazz/dance/electronica blend for over 20 years now. So any new name that they sign is always worth a sneak. Cue Milo Tomasovic (a.k.a Mylow) a young DJ, producer and electronic musician from Amsterdam who releases his EP ‘Voyager’ via the label on 15th January.
What hits you immediately from the opening moments of the title track is the range and depth of the sounds that Mylow orchestrates. There is something widescreen going on here as the layers of electronica soar and climb, surging from choral voices to circling strings before a throbbing pulse gradually picks up the energy levels. ‘Voyager’ never tries to lift off in that overcooked EDM fashion, it draws the listener in like an extended panning shot sweeping over some vast landscape.
The next tune on the EP, ‘Meditations’, introduces Mylow’s jazz influences into the mix, from the relaxed chord progressions and vocal harmonics at the start to the lounge flavoured piano soloing that sees the tune out. Eased along by effortless St.Germain like syncopation, the track also travels through gamelan patterns and guitar- horn interplay of math-rock proportions, all in at just over 3 minutes… that’s the mark of the ambition at work here.
‘I Do’ maintains this audacious momentum. Angular icy electric guitar progressions, melting peels of electronica and spaciously melodic strings pull you into caverns of sound before there’s an escape on the back of vibrant soul dance beats. The shifts are so subtle that these odd combinations just seem natural and the complexity never reaches a level of distraction.
Homely harmonies and folky acoustics set the final track ‘Ascendant’ on a slower course before it glides into a pacier reinvented jazz samba. With references to Canterbury prog and MOR, Mylow’s sound may skirt the boundaries of easy listening ambience but its invention and agility demand more attention. Maybe the Voyager EP could have focused on some of the individual ideas for a little longer but you sense that this is the sound of a musician who needed to get everything out there. For Mylow it is an impressive calling card and one that ensures you will keep his name on your listening radar.