South Korean DJ/producer duo close friends, Uman Therma (Sala) and Yetsuby (Manda), Salamanda have released their new album Sphere. The title comes from the concept of a sphere, where each track is “related to different kinds of sphere we found or imagined,” explains the duo. That could be the actual planet Earth, tomatoes or bubbles, which morph and change.
Their music combines minimalist electronics with beautiful and delicate rhythms and influences from the likes of Steve Reich. It often flows effortlessly like water cascading over a waterfall, but there are moments where they create some subtle changes like a switch up in the middle of “Knowledge.”
In addition to the digital release, all profits from physical sales going to the Korean Women’s Hotline – a program that helps support Korean women in crisis.
For the album, they break it down, track-by-track, to give you an inside scoop on the spheres and ideas that went into this project. Spheres is a beautiful project and worth a listen from front to back. Pick up your copy here via Métron Records.
SEE OTHER TRACK-BY-TRACK BREAKDOWNS NOW
1. The Big Blue
We love the cool and fresh weather of fall that reminds us of Richard Wagner. When we were working on "The Big Blue” in fall last year, we listened to a lot of his pieces, and wanted to make a track with strong focus on brass instruments. As we were developing, we noticed the multiple use of brass sounded rather persuasive than strong and punchy, and we loved it! So we decided to make this track a grand and atmospheric one with a planetary theme, and this is how our first track from the Sphere album came out.
The original idea for this track came from the curiosity of what would it be like if formless thoughts and words take shape and align with each other to form a single waveform. The track is about sharing the fragments of thoughts with people closed to you and achieving new knowledge as well as the warm and happy feelings of communion. Personally we love the sounds of brass synth that blankets the sounds of the double bass, which is portraying the pieces of ideas, and the crackling noise samples that can be heard throughout the track.
3. Puddle Underwater
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Do you think there might be a puddle somewhere under the deep ocean? How about a cactus plant growing in the Amazon rainforest? We love thinking about things that are deemed incompatible and looking to concepts that we have taken for granted with a new perspective. Just like how you can look up the sky by looking down:
“Rain-Bow” was made in summer last year when everything seemed extra chaotic and confusing with crimes, pandemic and all the injustice happening out there in the world. We were also feeling pretty worn out by many things at the time, so we wanted this track to be a small comfort for the listeners and for ourselves during difficult times.
5. Boiled Tomato
When peeling tomatoes, time is key. You should never leave them in the boiling water for long. Just 15 seconds in boiling water and that’s it. “Boiled Tomato” is about a sense of thrill that comes along with a mission to save those popping, round shaped vegetable (debatably) from the boiling water.
6. Between Blue and Purple
As the title may hint, this track is about the ambiguity in mind. You can also listen to loop phrases sounding like they’re about to end yet continuing to go on. Ambiguously.
7. Hemi and Bee
We thought of a calm and lazy satellite swimming in space before working on this track. This is what you get when watching too many space videos on YouTube. They are just too chill! The first sketch was minimal and had more melancholic feel. From there, we added sounds to depict a massive space and orbiting voices that remind us of bees hovering around flowers.
We’ve always wanted to try making electronic requiem / mass music, and “Offertorio” is one of those outcomes along with Agnus My Dei, which we released in 2019. “Offertorio” is music for the mass offering, and the track contains a story of someone who has nothing but their voice offering their singing to God.