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Brighter than the sun of Africa and hotter than the desert wind Scirocco: Harmonious Thelonious returns with his fourth album. It comes with the enticing title “International Dance Record” and as always, much of it revolves around the vertical component of music: Harmony. The Düsseldorf producer has been exploring the infinite possibilities of electronic music production under pseudonyms like Antonelli Electr. since the late 1990s. He has produced contemporary voodoo art as part of the trio The Durian Brothers. Yet the new album is not a standard procedure. Rather, he shifts the harmonies of African music and juxtaposes them by a whole tone, generating simple harmonic changes with a magical effect. His unusual tonal game runs through half of his album, yet is not its major theme. That, rather, is hypnosis. All of his new tracks run through without detailed arrangements, have heavily infectious melodic passages and create a repetitive pull of mythical power.
Overall, his music today is airier and more receptive than anything he has presented to the world to date as Harmonious Thelonious. The brute force beats his previous albums “Talking”, “Listen” and “Santos” have been replaced by simple rhythm box grooves. They are repeatedly joined by short highlife guitar themes, bright flute melodies and feathery keyboard hooks. Africa is also only partially a reference for this unclassifiable and cheerful dance sound, which is entitled “International Dance Record” for good reasons. Because this time the priority is on immediate movement and pieces like “Talking About” or the remake of “Muziek”, still crude on his 2012 EP “Ting Tong”, both nod to House without directly being that. A longplayer between worlds that creates its very own – and despite all its exoticism, somehow remains absolutely grounded.