OFFERS OF PEACE:
Elskavon is the ambient moniker of Minneapolis-based artist and producer Chris Bartels. With consistent releases of his projects Bora York and Hi-Fi Cali, his creative focus is spread wide, but its an obsessiveness that allows each project and each song to be the outlet of as much musical passion as the next.
Skylight is the 4th Elskavon full-length album, and the culmination of 3+ years of writing and sonic explorations. After releasing three albums in the span of three years, Bartels decided to take his time with the 4th, getting lost in writing and recording and spending countless hours on every song. It was a labor of love, a collection that stretched his creative talents and imagination.
Since 2014's Reveal, Bartels has had a second child with his wife Rebekah, bought a house, transitioned jobs, and written a ton of music. Many of these things and the emotional journeys along the way have inspired his music, and led to the idea of every single song on the new album being a dedication to a specific moment or memory in his life. From the song dedicated to the birth of Oliver, "Offers of Peace," to a serene moment in South Dakota witnessing multiple packs of elk calling and running at each other at dusk, each memory is special in its own way.
Skylight was anything but rushed. Bartels took the time to explore new techniques and break production "rules" along the way. From embracing imperfections such as hearing the wood floor creak in piano recordings while his family walked around upstairs, sampling in washing machines sounds via iPad, sending synths and vocals out to guitar pedals, recording unplugged electric pianos, or using his body as drums, each song was created in a unique way. Most of the album was recorded either at home or at the commercial studio where Bartels works as composer and engineer during the day.
A few of the studio experiments:
"Buren Storms" was birthed by hitting record for 7 minutes and improvising with an analog synth through drive, delay, and reverb guitar pedals.
Minneapolis guitarist Clark Strasburg added several layers of ambient electric guitar to "Harvest," all while Bartels sent it through cassette tape and processed it live on his Portastudio recorder.
"Dusk Line Hills" features Bartels' talking voice sped up, chopped up, and effected further to create an eerie layer behind piano and ambience.
Sounds Like / Influences: Hammock, Helios, Eluvium, Lowercase Noises, The Echelon Effect
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