Joline Scheffler – “Internal Fomo Compass” (K S R) [July 6, 2024]

You can tell Scheffler is the kind of musician who’s a pretty deep thinker when it comes to her music. Her mind always seems to be somewhat disconnected from the surface of things within the music, constantly thinking about the depth of field within the stereo image and how to support the sounds creatively. She effectively uses reverb to convey this message in a believable but supernatural way. 

Each track on this “Internal Fomo Compass” EP looks at well-designed artifacts and places them within this shallow pool of reverb. Almost like you’re looking into a crystal clear pool of ice melt and seeing the little bits of curiosities at the bottom float around, freed from their foundations by the weather rippling through the surface.

In essence, a good deal of her tracks in this release have clearly defined levels, and there’s a very strong separation of the elements based on this. The drum tracks are up front and in your face but not aggressively so, while the sub-surface elements are sat clearly behind the drum tracks. With the proper amount of filtering and saturation, there’s a great amount of depth that feels natural yet uncanny. 

Possibly, the best description of this is in the track “Strictly Nature,” where the drums are softened and welcoming, forward in the mix but never with any aggressive intent or attempt to knock you over. Moreover, they serve as a structure for the track to evolve. There’s the stated, deep organic flowing elements, while the feeling and immersive nature of the track pulls you under. Imagine that you’re in the midst of a Techno night out and some jock is playing some face-melting tunes, and this comes on, instantly opening up the sonic depth and spatial characteristics of the stereo field on a dope sound system… It might just very well blow your mind. Well that happens repeatedly in every track. From the title track and its disembodied frenetic tom-like synths, to “Roam” and “Vimla” with their heavy but distant bass grooves, they all balance this gentle and caring Drum track with these wide open spaces to float around in with your imagination.

If there’s something to be said about this EP, it is this: Why go one way when you can go another? Or better yet, do it your own way. In a world with increasingly blistering Hard Techno and recycled Techno ideas, it’s commendable to be original. We should celebrate those who are interested in forging their own path. Even better when we have an artist like Joline Scheffler, doing so and expressing it in a very well articulated and sonically clear manner. There’s a lot of Techno that aims to impress, but Scheffler seems to want to paint these organic soundscapes on the sonic canvas of sound systems worldwide. With her current trajectory and previous support from H-Productions, as well as here on K S R, she’s doing just that.

-Sean Ocean

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