Olafur Arnalds – Late Night Tales Review

Olafur Arnalds Late Night Tales

Introduction

Here I review another instalment from Late Night Tales compiled this time by Olafur Arnalds.

Olafur Arnalds

Olafur Arnalds is a BAFTA award winning musician from Iceland.  Arnalds has had a busy career releasing four solo albums between 2007 and 2016 along with forming half of the Kiasmos project.  He has also written soundtracks for film and TV including Broadchurch and Another Happy Day.  His own music can best be described as somewhere between classical, ambient and techno.  Call it modern electronic classic, if you will.

Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales continue their journey through the chill out room with another outing here.  Olafur Arnalds steps up with a varied selection of tracks which include some of his own work, plus tracks from collaborators and friends.

I have the vinyl version which comes on audiophile quality black vinyl with a download code that you can redeem on the Late Night Tales website. This will give you a choice between FLAC (recommended), WAV or MP3 (hell no).

Samaris’ Goda Tungl sounds just like Bjork; I not just the Scandanavian accent but also the playful and quirky nature of her voice.  That, coupled with the experimental electronic beat and wobbly bass-line bares more than a passing resemblance to Bjork.

Olafur Arnalds contributes an exclusive track called RGB, which is one of the highlights.  This combines melodic pulsing electronic surges with cellos and violins to great effect.  Another example of classical music meeting electronic.

Olafur Arnalds Late Night Tales

Probably the biggest track on this compilation is Lion by Four Tet, remixed by Jamie xx.  I’ve heard this track as the intro to a more upbeat club mix (Danny Howell’s Balance), but here it slots in nicely with the other trippy ambient records.  Deep reverb bass combines with broken beats to great effect – Jamie xx again on form here.

James Blake features here too with Our Love Comes Back which is a melancholy song that tugs at the heart strings.  Arnalds combines with a singer called Arnor Dan to create an unexpected, bizarre but brilliant rendition of Say My Name by Destiny’s Child – very cool!

Olafur Arnalds Late Night Tales

My favourite of this compilation is the second from last track, Ethereal by Hjaltalin.  Its a simple piano track with a male vocal over the top.  It drips with emotion, makes good use of long pauses and rounds off the compilation nicely.  The position of last track goes, as usual for Late Night Tales, to a spoken word track – this time from David Tenant.

Conclusion

The Olafur Arnalds Late Night Tales is one of the best they have released.  I love the combination of trippy electronica, classic instrumentation and skittish rhythms.  I find myself returning to this release over and over again.  If you like artists like Jamie xx then this should be right up your street.

Summary
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Olafur Arnalds - Late Night Tales
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