Best Vancouver albums of 2016: Elka – ‘Chants’ (1080p)

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Elan Benaroch has been DJing and producing electronic music in Vancouver for over a decade-and-a-half. As a testament to his fluid skills, Chants, his 1080p debut as Elka, constantly moves forward without stumbling over skittish electronics like those that fizz up on “Fairbeat”. Buoyant, bass-y keyboards not only keep “Pass Groove” afloat but propels Chants along at a comfortable pace. However, a track like the polyrhythmic “Expander” undeniably packs an extra snap with its clapping percussion. Yet Elka’s unafraid to – and equally adept at – slowing down a notch to give the tracks some useful breathing space, a touch that heightens the ears’ attention to details including the subtly ringing cymbal-play on “Excursion 909”.

Clean, sharp blips that almost mimic bird chirps on “Closer” and entomological rattles on “Silver Beach” imbue Chants with a natural, living feel. 1080p describes Benaroch as introverted, but the world he inhabits is colourful, full of life, and full of surprises. We’re lucky he lets us in.

Standout track – “Pass Groove”

See the rest of my picks at Vancouver Weekly.

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