Seedling Mother | Calika
 Cat: AB015 
 Time: September 07
 Media: CD & Digital Download

 Info: Simon Kealoha's second album on Audiobulb 
 brings together detailed electronic and acoustic 
 elements to form a multi-layered soundtrack. At times 
 confrontational and at times soothing the album reflects 
 the composer's reaction to mankind, society and an 
 increasingly connected and complex wider world.

 Artist website:
 01. No Hope But Everything
 02. rep{eat Performance
 03. Seedling Mother
 04. 2 Quarters Make Half A Smile
 05. Mute
 06. Every Colour
 07. Two tales Of Happiness
 08. Fused
 Calika download download download  
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 Who are you?  
Well my friends know me as Simon.
Why do you write music?
When I started,it was just something I loved doing. As time goes by it becomes more of a compulsion. To put it another way, I can't imagine not writing music.
How would you describe your music?
It's kind of hard to describe as i'm sure it sounds very different to me as it does to anyone else. So with that in mind, I've always thought that you can hear a persons influences in their music, so i'll give a list of 10 artists that have had the biggest impact on me. From there you can guess what it's like. Squarepusher, John Coltrane, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Slint, Alva Noto, Funkstorung, Neu, Matmos, the Books and Tarentel thought about putting stockhausen or Yasunao Tone to sound intellectual,but that just ain't what's on my headphones to be honest.
What does this album mean to you?
That is kind of hard to answer. I could give it a crazy concept, but to be honest there wasn't one. I just wanted to write a good album. Maybe that's what it means to me 'an attempt to write a good album'.
Can you elaborate on some of your creative processes?
So the initial idea is pretty easy. That can come from anywhere, a noise, a book, a track I've been listening to, a film. From there it's a matter of just experimenting and letting the track go where it wants to. Letting it get to know itself so to speak. This tends to invole plucking away on the bass, recording sounds from round and about, lots of cups of tea, maybe a glass of wine, a laptop, reaktor,a sequencer and various pedals. The hardest part is knowing when to stop. Sometimes you need to leave something for a while to appreciate how good or crap it might be.
What are your future plans?
I have a release I want to get finished up, it will be a 5 track E.P. I've tried to explore a more textured approach with less fractured rythms. I also will be working on tracks for Zermatt, with Matthias Grubel. Alot of our material needs to be rewritten after I had a corrupted hard drive. I want to play live a bit more next year, I've really enjoyed some of the gigs this year and want to keep developing my live set.

REVIEWS | Seedling Mother

 Almost two years after his debut solo album, Small Talk Kills Me , and over a year and a half after his contribution 
 to Benbecula's Mineral Series ( The Bright Spot ), Brighton-based Calika returns with Seedling Mother, his 
 sophomore effort, again released on Sheffield's Audiobulb. Fresh from a second collaboration with legendary 
 Seefeel /Disjecta musician Mark Clifford, following their 2005 Running Taper  album, Kealoha concocts a confident 
 collection of intricate electronic compositions. 

 Unlike on Small Talk , where only rarefied guitar (primarily acoustic) elements were used to adorn his sonic 
 structures, Kealoha incorporates guitar and bass textures much more prominently on Seedling Mother , rendering 
 his compositions with organic swathes and intentionally placing acoustic, electric and electronic sound sources 
 so it occasionally feels as if he is accompanied by a live band. This is best demonstrated in the opening piece, 
 No Hope But Everything , on the hectic 2 Quarters Make Half A Smile , with its echoes of Music Has Rotted One 
 Note -era Squarepusher , or on the slightly claustrophobic Every Colour. 

 Elsewhere, while the constructions remain based on an intricate mix of real instruments, samples and electronics, 
 the focus shifts to slightly more traditional electronic forms. The title track from instance is a complex piece which 
 takes many forms during its four and a half minutes, but guitars are barely discernable, pushed far in the 
 background, providing just a gentle hum for most of the track. On Two Tales Of Happiness , the mix is more 
 contrasted and the backbone of the piece is clearly carved out of a plucked melody played on an acoustic guitar, 
 but once again, electronic noises and sounds dominate here. With Mute and Fused , Kealoha generates much 
 more nuanced soundscapes. The former is a slow moving eleven and a half minute atmospheric epic which sees 
 Kealoha weaving loose sonic strands into spacious loops, and the latter, which closes the proceedings, while 
 built around a similar template, proves a much lighter and concise offering.

 With Seedling Mother , Simon Kealoha continues to affirm his place amongst contemporary electronic musicians. 
 His tight concentration of acoustic and electronic is stronger and more confident here, as he pushes the envelop 
 of Calika into new directions. Ultimately, Kealoha has produced with Seedling Mother an impressive follow up to 
 Small Talk Kills Me and is positioning himself more firmly at the forefront of modern electronica. 
 4.2 / 5
 It seemed like a few months that i reviewed Calika's 'Small Talk Kills Me', but it was already in Vital Weekly 494.
 Now Simon Keoloha delivers his second album under the banner of 'Seedling Mother', and it an interesting 
 forward he makes here. Whereas his previous one was a bit too scattered in various styles for my taste, 
 this new one works much better, even when it still has that wide variety of styles. We leap frog into ambient
 textures, post rock mathematics, techno, IDM and back again. It's a bit hard to say why it works here better 
 than before, but I think it's partly because tracks are a bit longer than on the previous one. This room in a 
 track is used to expand on themes and explore them better. Even when a lot things happen inside tracks, 
 there is enough space to explore each aspect and that is what makes this into a most enjoyable CD. (FdW) 

 Audiobulb's motto is ‘Exploratory Electronic Music'. It's an apt description for Simon Kealoha's third album as 
 Calika. Exploring the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, you're as likely to hear a strummed
 guitar as a sine wave here. That's hardly new in itself, but ‘Seedling Mother' isn't your typically chilled out 
 folktronica record. This is a dark, jazzy affair with fractured rhythms and a heavy, oppressive ambience. 
 Nowhere is this clearer than on the title track, with its sampled argument between a teenager and his 
 pregnant girlfriend. There's an uneasy, voyeuristic shiver to it, but it's compelling all the same. The problem 
 with making a record that conveys a dark mood so concisely is that it risks being drab and depressing itself. 
 Seedling Mother' generally avoids this, but there are moments where it crosses the line into dreariness. 
 For the most part though this is an impressive and immersive experience.

 Listening to Calika's second album on Audiobulb Records entitled Seedling mother, the first impression is 
 that it continues where the debut album ended. Again a rhythmic and multi-layered elecro-album is presented. 
 Simon Kealoha, as the artist is called, offers an outstanding detailed musical palette built from tiny sounds. 
 These tiny sounds can be the strings of dismantled pianos, harp, mouth organ, Simon's bass guitar or synth, 
 or percussion made from found sounds. It's like a mix of glitch and drum 'n' bass rhythms with a lot of 
 elements intertwingled. Ranging from soothing atmospheric intros to highly complex rhythm structures, this 
 CD offers all a listener can ask for. Complex music that is highly digestible.

 Seedling Mother , the sequel to Calika's first Audiobulb outing, Small Talk Kills Me , and his Benbecula release, 
 The Bright Spot , finds Simon Kealoha convincingly bridging broad stylistic terrain using a wealth of electronic 
 and acoustic sounds. Calika favours an off-kilter drum feel borne from assembled out of found sounds and 
 processed kit playing. That loose feel extends to the tracks in general where myriad sounds, identifiable and 
 obscure (piano strings, harp, mouth organ, acoustic guitar, synthesizer, bass guitar), slowly assume coherent 
 form; consequently, Kealoha's material more often suggests an improvising post-rock collective than a singular 
 artist assembling precision-tooled, repetition-based tracks (notably, he eschews loops on the album). Take 
 away the portentous string elements and the disconcerting field recording that documents an argument 
 between a teenage pregnant mother and her boyfriend, and “Seedling Mother,” for example, resembles the 
 rumble and clatter of an instrumental band jamming. Driven by flailing cymbals and drums, “2 Quarters Make 
 Half a Smile” finds Kealoha merging Squarepusher-like bravado with the type of rambunctious post-rock attack
 commonly practiced by Run_return. 
 The album opens, though, with two tracks one would mostly classify under instrumental hip-hop: “No Hope But 
 Everything,” where brooding tones and a lead bass hover over a glitchy hip-hop rhythm bed, and “rep}eat 
 Performance,” where acoustic guitar, bass, and assorted noise slowly settle into a head-nodding beat. 
 Occupying the other end of the spectrum, the album's longest track, the eleven-minute “Mute,” navigates an 
 unwavering meditative route. With each track metamorphosizing into unexpected form and each one filled 
 with shape-shifting detail, Calika's Seedling Mother demands one's attention but largely rewards it.

 CALIKA  Seedling Mother (Audiobulb) • What is the greater achievement: reaching a musical goal you have set, 
 or merely following the muse and happening upon greatness? While the former is the obvious payoff for skill and 
 planning and practice, the latter rewards creative wandering, the wonderment and joy of experimentation. One is 
 sure to find this year better crafted sounds, and albums with more detailed blueprints, than those of Brighton 
 resident Simon Kealoha. Yet the man who calls himself Calika unconsciously strikes a tenuous, sublime balance 
 between sources that form both him and his art. It turns out Seedling Mother is indeed a most suggestive title for 
 his second full-length. His land imbues Calika with awareness of the synthetic, the various and shifting electronic 
 spheres juggled in general by Europe and in particular by his United Kingdom. On the other hand, his Hawaiian 
 bloodline beckons him to the natural, even unto the extremes of native melodies and performance styles relaxed 
 to the languid flow foisted upon the state's tourist population and ultimate the residents who play to it. Normally, 
 the script for this review would run as follows: guitar and bass over wildly inventive rhythm tracks results in 
 excellent dub, or micronoise, or rhythmic noise, etc. Instead those strings are plainly plucked by Calika outside of 
 a chord context so we sense each note's benevolent intent. It's common to find acoustic and classical elements 
 complementing the generated ones (“Two Tales of Happiness”) or enveloped by them (in the title track). 
 Atmospheres for the most part are toned down to khaki-like neutrals. Have we stumbled upon “glitch folk,” 
 stripping away levels of decibels and complexity while maintaining substantial intellectual depth? It's suggested 
 by the “Mute” formula of soft guitars and ambience, sending the track chugging down a haunting and seemingly 
 endless path - a long walk on the beach, a long wade in the ocean, a long look at sunset. Even the most jittery of 
 drums are sometimes muted and cymbals are brushed, and there's at least some evidence both were played live 
 at one point. Any nods here to Antipop Consortium are far outnumbered by those to Tortoise, Four Tet, possibly 
 Greyboy Allstars, but these familiars don't engender the homespun feel Calika does. Seedling Mother leads us 
 out of the bedroom studio and man, oh man, it feels nice out here in the realm of backwoods electronica. (AB)


 Simon Kealoha's last full length Small Talk Kills Me ( read our review ) was a delicate, quiet affair. Seedling Mother
 is a development from what Small Talk... started (with a lot of output in between) and is a more varied project. 
 Far more elements conspire to form a whole but the distinctive electric grit that scoured the surface of Small Talk
 remains intact. 
 There's a definite sense in many of the opening tracks that there is a gentlemanly battle going on between 
 acoustic and electric; elements slide against each other shoulder to shoulder, jostling for space - winning out for 
 brief interludes before sinking into the murky backdrop of delicately glitchy static, glass bottles and looped 
 Seedling Mother retains the sound Calika has developed, but just misses out on reaching adulthood; well-
 developed tracks are sometimes let down by too much plastic crackle. This feeling of frustration seeps through
 to the listener on the title track, which samples a blurry shouting match - tensing up the shoulders before the 
 acceptance of the acoustics fades in and calms the nerves. 
Tracks which exclude the scoured electronics work much better: '2 Quarters Make Half A Smile' (listen to the MP3)
 is the best of Kealoha's work yet – flowing smoothly through its stages before sliding out into open water. 
 Seedling Mother is an altogether more diverse affair, with Kealoha reaching forward and spreading his arms wide
 to reach more and more sounds. From here on in, we expect great things. 
Angry Ape 

 David Newman trails releases on his Audiobulb Records as "Exploratory Electronic Music," and it's no empty 
 sloganeering. Simon Kealoha's third album as Calika - sequel to first Audiobulb outing, Small Talk Kills Me , 
 and Benbecula bash, The Bright Spot  - certainly fits the questing bill. Whether or not its explorations bear 
 a yield of resonance, however, is a question of the listener's preferred orientation in terms of musical textures 
 and compositional strategy. Kealoha operates with a pointillist palette, melding particulate matter gradually into 
 larger shifting shapes, invariably organically inclined, often with a faux-live sound. Though it wears its electronic 
 skeleton on the outside at times, copious use is made of acoustic instruments. Much musical matter is a freeplay 
 of piano innards, harps, mouth organs, displaced voices guitar, and piano rubbing up against real drums and 
 toybox-type percussives, sometimes dusted with found sounds. Bass guitar is also frequently prominent, leading 
 to Calika sometimes taking on an air of a more dissipated cousin of German post-everythingists To Rococo Rot. 

 Seedling Mother 's rhythms are spidery leggy things with little whomp or thunk - brittle things that seem to resist 
 repetition, even regularity, ever prone to straying away from much trodden toe-tap and head-nod paths. And 
 melody is also a fleeting entity within Kealoha's wonky semi-structured version of freeform/improv methodology 
 allied to glitch-inflected electronica, nearest kindred spirit here being the likes of Portland eclecticists, Run_Return. 
Album opener "No Hope But Everything" is all dissipative tonalities and an assertive bass guitar slathering themselves over a shifting glitch-hop backdrop, while the subsequent "rep}eat Performance" finds acoustic guitar, bass, and unidentified sounding objects finally cohering into a more somatic beat, counteracting a prevailing feel of nervy types jamming in a virtual rehearsal-room. Truth be told, though Audiobulb flaunts its electronicity, Calika's sound strikes as less an affair of digital circuitry than of circuitous fidgetry. On the 11-minute centrepiece, "Mute" a different constellation of sounds emerges, resonant synth pings and a more pared back acoustic backdrop conspiring to establish an atmosphere approaching serenity, a more immersive ambient piece, flirting, in its extended fade-out, with liminality. The finale "Fused" starts out as a sister piece, though it breaks into the electro- fidgeting and post-rock action once more. It's those less nervous moments, where fret-fiddle, patter and paradiddle are deferred, that show a side to Calika's sound that would merit more extended exploration.
Ultimately, Seedling Mother signals significant movement forward from the somewhat stylistically disparate hodgepodge of Small Talk Kills Me , though the sub-genre pick'n'mix approach is still present. It does, however, offer a different take on an increasingly familiar blend, ambient rubbing shoulders with post- (and neo-math) rock, techno, and IDM, and it must be said that, though its fragment-strewn loose-limbed compositions do not tweak this listener's ear-drums particularly, Kealoha has achieved a more coherent and cohesive blend with a clearer sense of individual voice on Seedling Mother than on previous outings.
Seedling Mother is out now on Audiobulb. [ Purchase ] Igloo Mag

 Seedling Mother is the follow-up to Simon Kealoha's previous Audiobulb release Small Talk Kills Me, and its 
 Benbecula predecessor, The Bright Spot. While by no means a comprehensive departure from prior works, 
 Seedling Mother finds Calika embracing an almost jazzy compositional looseness, flirting with the kind of live 
 instrumentation and pots-and-pans sampling you might encounter on an early Four Tet outing, or perhaps on an 
 offshoot from the Hood camp, along similar lines to the hip hop melancholy of Bracken or The Declining Winter. 
 Kealoha's compositional skills and production credentials mesh best of all on '2 Quarters Make Half A Smile', 
 throwing together skittering, jazzy drums, a melodic bassline and drifting, fragmented electronics, arriving 
 immediately before you're thrown off the scent altogether with the quiet eleven-minute droner 'Mute'. By the time 
 you reach the closing piece 'Fused' you've fully emerged from the rabbit hole, and find yourself planted in the sort 
 of territory explored by Squarepusher on releases like Music Is Rotted One Note and Budokan Mindphone. It's 
 these contrasts and inconsistencies that make Seedling Mother an enigmatic listen, hard to pin down but all the 
 more  intriguing for it. 


 Score: 7.5 / 10

 Up for an adventure? Audiobulb squeezes out another thinker this year with Calika 's Seedling Mother , a glitchy, 
 bleepy, post-rave orgy of crushingly wicked electro. I expected an interesting record from Audiobulb , and Calika 
 delivers in spades. 

 The integration of acoustic instrumentation, silence, and digital sound elements make this a very enthralling listen. 
 Take the track “Rep{eat Performance,” for instance; it starts with a soft (dare I say intimate) acoustic guitar 
 arrangement, then out of nowhere careens into a kick heavy jam session. Unexpected twists and turns are the 
 driving force behind this album, and the relative ease Calika demonstrates in the use of various different genres 
 and techniques is reminiscent of well established IDM masters like Richard D. James . But unlike a lot of recent 
 genre transcending releases, Seedling Mother stays very focused and concise throughout. The only overindulgent 
 piece is “Mute,” an unnecessarily long track that can't hold a candle to “No Hope But Everything” or “2 Quarters 
 Make Half A Smile.” Unfortunately, “Mute” is placed at midway through the album, completely disrupting the flow. 

 Calika's style is confined well within this album. Each strack seems bursting with an energy and enthusiasm not 
 common in today's melancholic electronic scene (excluding “Mute”). He employs a microhouse-influenced, low-key 
 approach to sonic density, reminiscent of Vladislav Delay . However, the musical structure of the tracks manage 
 to avoid the microhouse cliches plaguing most releases in recent years, while exerting the wonderfully refreshing 
 restraint that keeps the layers of synths in check. 

 Emotionally, this album is a tad cold. Early on, the natural acoustic lines bring an interesting brightness to the first 
 half, but as the album progresses, computerized bleeps and filters play down the bucolic atmosphere. Indeed, it is 
 hard to balance the simplicity of this album with acoustic aura, and Calika does a masterful job of controlling the 
 direction of the songs. Bu,t I would have much rather seen him build a longer, acoustic heavy track than the 
 minimal (and boring) “Mute.” He has the potential ("Two Tales of Happiness”), and I'd love to see him use it. 

 This album is a very good initial listen. Every track has some genuinely interesting characteristics that aren't 
 explored in your run-of-the-mill album, and Calika's manipulation of the sound is extremely interesting. Unorthodox 
 genre shifts and experimentation mark this as a fantastic release and an improvement over his last LP, The Bright 
 Spot. Die hard fans and newcomers alike should find plenty to agree with in Seedling Mother .

 Jack Britton / The Silent Ballet
 Torniamo a parlare di Audiobulb dopo aver calato il sipario su questo periodo vacanziero speso nei Paesi Baschi. 
 Appena tornato a casa, la pila di cd da recensire mi ha strizzato l'occhio dalla scrivania e così, con tanta voglia 
 di ascoltare la mia musica, ho pescato a caso nel mucchio tirando fuori questo 'Seedling Mothers' seconda opera 
 Electro-Glitch di Calika per Audiobulb appunto. Vi dico subito che per metter mano a questo prezioso pezzo di 
 musica contemporanea, dovrete attendere il prossimo 10 settembre, data prevista per la distribuzione. Potete 
 comunque gustarvi qualche anteprima dal sito dell'etichetta o da quello di Calika. Come nel precedente 'Small Talk 
 Kills Me', l'autore non disdegna l'uso di strumenti tradizionali come la chitarra e il pianoforte; questa volta però le 
 ritmiche si fanno più sincopate, la melodia diventa decadente e l'impercettibile utilizzo di campioni vocali crea 
 un'atmosfera al limite del malinconico. Trovano posto anche sezioni più movimentate come in '2 Quarter Make 
 Half A Smile' dove alle manipolazioni Glitch vengono affiancati campionamenti Jazzistici per una soluzione finale 
 che non ha nulla di scontato pur non essendo nuova alle mie orecchie. Un bel disco per riprendere la solita vita 
 lavorativa con meno 'fatica-mentale'.
 Avevamo già additato l'abilità e la particolarissima estetica di questo produttore di musica elettronica in occasione 
 del suo debutto (pubblicato sempre dall'inglese Audiobulb ), l'apprezzato Small Talk Kills Me , a cui hanno fatto 
 seguito un altro album solista ( The Bright Spot per la minuscola etichetta ultra-indipendente Benbecula ) e una 
 collaborazione con Mark Clifford dei Seefeel per l'inglese Polyfusia . L'attiva etichetta di David Newman declina 
 dunque sulla ricerca di nuove tessiture sonore di Calika , che funziona in questo disco quasi come fosse un telaio 
 acustico elettromeccanico, collocando strati e strati di matrici sonore su intricati sofismi di emissioni da sorgenti 
 acustiche, elettroniche e bizzarri field recording, mostrando rispetto al suo precedente lavoro di voler ammiccare 
 maggiormente verso espressioni più vicine al post-rock: le sue astratte e ammalianti declinazioni elettroacustiche 
 sembrano ora farsi più complesse ora più semplici e non meravigliatevi se vi parrà che il suo sound - di cui resta 
 invariata non solo l'attitudine al texturing, ma anche quella che lo spinge verso il processamento di kit percussivi 
 diversamente configurate e di impulsi di sturmenti come l'arpa o il piano - si confonda con l'ambiente di stimolazioni 
 sonore proprie di una sonnecchiosa periferia urbana, che trova il suo picchio espressivo (alquanto bizzarro a 
 dirla tutta) nella title-track Seedling Mother (che avrà fecondato anche la fervida immaginazione esplorativa di 
 Simon Kealoha ), in cui Simon sembra aver voluto immortalare forse attraverso le sottili pareti che lo separavano 
 da qualche finitima "tragedia" avente per contesto qualche sobborgo inglese, catturate da un registratore durante 
 un accesa discussione fra una giovane adolescente gravida e il suo boyfriend (un certo Johnny). Non sappiamo 
 quanto sia autentica la citata registrazione, ma resta il fatto che Simon deve averla utilizzata come punto di 
 partenza per assemblare il parco ispirazionale o semplicemente il contesto ideale per le sue strutture disgregate, 
 giungendo a "fotografare" attraverso il suono quel set emotivo denso di frustazione e nevrosi che dovrebbe 
 caratterizzare una relazione disgregate quanto le strutture assemblate. Al fine di potervi offrire un metro 
 comparativo con qualcosa che vi potrebbe essere capitato di ascoltare, potreste immaginare di ascoltare i 
 Pavement a cui abbiano strappato le corde vocali, dopo averli storditi con una botta violenta della pancia della 
 cassa armonica di una chitarra sulla testa, in uno studio di registrazione con una parete di monitor che proiettano 
 film surrealisti alternati a pallosissimi film realisti alla Herzog, sovrapposti a psichedelici virtuosismi di generatore 
 video! Di tanto in tanto il setting sembra uscire dalle catene della tragedia per immergersi in una placenta oscura 
 e avvolgente, come accade nella splendida suite Mute (secondo noi la traccia dalla qualità più elevata della 
 tracklist, con passaggi che ci ricordano progetti importanti come gli Scape, i Rainstick Orchestra o i Loscil): nei 
 suoi dieci minuti la mente dell'ascoltatore assisterà ad una serie di passagi di registro notevole e molto 
 coinvolgente. Altrettanto oscura ma anche molto suggestiva la successiva Every Colour , la più "seefeeliana"
 dell'album, con bislacche armonie e con audio "coreografie" che ci ricordano alcune band "dimenticate" che 
 tracciavano il core di certe sonorità nord-europee nei primi novanta come la costola cinamatica degli Starfish 
 Pool (chiamata Starfish Enterprises, sfortunato combo noise-rock di Koen Lybaert, forse troppo avanti per quei
 tempi...) o le prime divagazioni noise degli Elbow. Nel finale, Calika ritorna sulle sonorità con cui l'abbiamo 
 conosciuto disegnando una splendida patchwork di suoni cupi e sognanti, perfetta chiusa di un disco che 
 merita considerazione
 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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