Atomnation has been producing unique and moody electronic music since its inception in 2012 by Pascal Terstappen and Guido Hollaers, but has recently upped the ante with the frequency of releases being increased, and the launch of a monthly podcast series. The Dutch label specialises in sultry and surreal music, spanning the gritty, the energetic and the ethereal. Founder Applescal produces punchy dance tracks, Portable Sunsets create beautifully emotional, dubby tunes with hints of classical beauty, and David Douglas makes indie, vocal driven electronica.
This month sees the vinyl release of Nordic duo Gidge’s ‘For Seoul’, a 2-track hymn to the South-Korean capital city that they visited and fell in love with. This follows some deep and lovely records from earlier in the year such as Tunnelvisions’ ‘Tanami’ and David Douglas’s ‘Spectators of the Universe’. Most notable, however, is Deltawerk’s ‘Passages’, which was released in conjunction with their live show, a 270 degree visual experience that guides the audience through unearthly landscapes as the album progresses.
Atomnation is unconventional in its intimacy. The habit of releases being accompanied by backstories and context around the artists’ inspiration, the origin and creator of the label artwork, and the relationship between artists follows the label’s tendency to present its records as an entire emotional and sensory experience, rather than just something to listen to. Many of the artists on its roster are known for their impressive live shows, and a number have backgrounds in art, film and poetry. There is also a distinctive theme of music that expresses the mood of certain places, and a strong connection to nature runs throughout the sounds, titles and artwork released by the label.
All in all, Atomnation is an eccentric and exceptional label that produces emotive, complex and three-dimensional music - definitely set to keep on making unpretentious and unpredictable magic.
Words by Dora T