With a sound as distinctive and serene as Swedish producer Kasbo’s, the announcement of a sophomore full-length album brings with it some rather high expectations. Since the string of promotional single releases for ‘The Making of a Paracosm’ began three months ago, however, Kasbo has given us more than enough faith that these expectations would be beaten. Over 14 beautifully tranquil tracks unveiled via ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, the Swede explores a range of tranquil soundscapes which combine creative instrumentation and vibrant vocals. The melodies are distinctive and instantly memorable, the percussion is warm and deeply soothing, and the emotions flow without restraint.
In spite of heavily teasing the album with six hit singles, from the earliest (the supremely catchy ‘Play Pretend’) to the most recent (the Vancouver Sleep Clinic-assisted ‘Lune’), ‘The Making of a Paracosm’ has something to offer with each of the remaining album exclusives too. The titular opening track builds on a simple melodic motif which crescendos into a rich expanse of supersaws, a perfect representation of the sampling and instrumentation used in the album at large.
The vocal-assisted pairing of ‘Shut The World Out’ with Frida Sundemo and ‘Talk Slow’ with Noomi both boast indelible vocal-led choruses, sprinkled with luscious dynamics and lighthearted vocal chops. Perhaps the niche in which Kasbo thrives superlatively is best epitomized by the ambient instrumentals ‘Blur’ and ‘Augusti, 05:19 (Interlude)’, both of which will place you in a trance within their first few seconds.
Kasbo’s widely-acclaimed debut LP, ‘Places We Don’t Know’, is a tough act to follow, but the Swede might have just done that. A self-proclaimed “honest extension of his personal identity” and “an ode to his Swedish heritage”, ‘The Making of a Paracosm’ definitely will find itself among some of the best albums that this year has produced.