fLako (GB)

Unintentionally off-the-grid and committed to his personal sound evolution, Flako is more of a Soul-documentarian than a typical beat maker. With roots in Chile, raised in Germany, and currently living in London via Berlin – the man himself is a melange of flavor. His particular sonic palette is a mercurial blend of warm analogue colors and cutting-edge design. His writing is marked by manifest emotion. In a world jaded – caustic with sarcasm and packaged in plastic, he’s an example of an artist who’s fearless with his humanity. Not a fiend for the limelight, there’s no gimmick to his craft – ’cause in the end it’s all about an honest, well written tune. “There’s a sense of the freedom, intimacy and depth to the sound of London-based producer fLako’s latest EP Eclosure. That’s not in the way that an overload of ideas could become overwhelming but in that a tapestry of acoustic and electronic sounds can weave a cocoon of wellbeing around its listener. Released on fledgling East London label Five Easy Pieces just last month, four tracks offer space and escapism through the subtle textures you mightn’t expect to find from a resident of a city best known for its gloomy winters and dreary weather. Yet, in a world where natural and synthetic binaries are becoming increasingly more integrated into our everyday lives, these are the truly beautiful recordings of the dub-doused, post-genre type, recalling Arcadian escape. An exciting feeling of flux breezes through the effervescence of ‘Honey Drips’ and the cyclic respiration, trundling over the occasional animal sample, in ‘Lion’s Mane’. If nature could be expressed through electronics, then Eclosure is the closest you’re going to get to it. The cover art features a digitally altered image by friend and photographer Clemens Fantur; a central figure removed to reveal a silhouette into a parallel universe, a virtual ecological plane. Its an apt representation, not only of the very visual, physical drift of fLako’s sound but of the soulful and near-spiritual elements of melodic curiosity. A searching awareness pervades the guitar frolic of ‘Mating Dance’, where a vocal chorale, pipes and maraca samples evoke a borderless sonic geography informed by a boundless palate and unrestricted influences. Perhaps it’s because of his own cultural diversity -as a Chilean-born, German-raised global resident, otherwise known as Darío Rojo Guerra- and the fact he’s been championed by artists the world over, from LA’s Gaslampkiller and Glasgow’s Hudson Mohawke. Or maybe it’s as a mere product of our global culture. Whatever it is, fLako creates an other-worldy escape from the urbanised surroundings of an overcrowded world. Found-sound samples are absorbed into a textured soundscape of bubbling signals, dissipating into skittering drum beats and unexpected drops, following in the wake of a typically spectral vocal delivery. Those vocals come as one of Guerra’s many pseudonyms, his easy-listening alter ego, Dirg Gerner (RBMA NYC 2013 Participant), who also appears on 2011 fLako track ‘Lonely Town’. Over the exotic rhythms of hollow acoustics and marimbas, he croons, “Have you ever felt the urge to be someone else?” and by the end of Eclosure, it almost feels like you could be.”
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