Austria’s Manu Delago is a percussionist and drummer who has turned his back on his better known instrument, in turn favouring the Swiss metallic UFO-shaped instrument, The Hang. Delago has been the percussionist and hang player for Bjork and Nitin Sawhney amongst others, giving and indication into the sound he favours. Silver Kobalt is his ninth album in as many years.
The prodigious musician draws on pop and avant-garde and much in-between for his albums which mix electronica with limber percussion. The genesis for the song, Plus Minus, came when Delago threw some magnets in the air and recorded how they sounded. This would carry through the album as Delago explored the effect that magnets have on the tuning of certain instruments.
As well as multi-layered beats, bassoon, piano, chimes and a variety of synths, Delago calls on a number of female vocalists to add more light to his instrumental pieces. Isa Kurz offers clear and pristine tones to Disgustingly Beautiful and Sun In The North, while local lass Katie Noonan is brought in to offer her distinctive timbre to the folk based Dearest.
Delago plays electronic music that isn’t designed for the clubs, but for more intimate affairs as it offers an extra layer with each listen. Silver Kobalt balances melody with invention.