TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

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On the strength of Vitriol, the excellent EP from Swedish musician SSTROM, aka Hannes Stenström, (one half of Techno terrorists SHXCXCHCXSH) I had a funny feeling that his debut album Otider (roughly translated as "non-times") would deliver in spades. Composed of tracks made between 2010 and 2017, there's a consistent flow to proceedings that reflect the artist's own development over the years, taking in ten thoroughly engaging works that cover a hybrid musical palette of Techno, Trance, IDM and Electronica.

Stenström has a knack for saturating his productions in rich layers of texture and sound, adding a depth of interest beyond the main melody or drum pattern underpinning each track. Fans of SHXCXCHCXSH will recognise the more experimental style in tracks like I Huvudet and Baslinjen but it's the really catchy, melodious moments that define the SSTROM dynamic. Toying with elements of Electronica, Modernisten employs guitar and vocal snippets to great effect, while the alien groove underpinning Svävaren brings to mind the earlier work of Kompakt boss Michael Mayer. The best tracks are Tornet, Vinden and Kronofobi, each of which work the emotions into a frenzy with progressive chords and edgy melody. My particular favourite though is Damm, with its polite Trance influences.

Otider is out now on Rösten and is available digitally and on vinyl.