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Moonilena Tiny Portals

Huntleys & Palmers
7th April 2021

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Ambrosian, minimal electrionics from Stockholm’s Moonilena aka young producer Marlena Lampinen. On Glasgow’s Huntley + Palmers label, her debut mini album Tiny Portals transmogrifies the signifiers of New Age music – slinky synth pads, gently acidic basslines and spacious mixing into a inviting dream house that at times recall Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works. Like much ambient / house crossover, the promise of utopian futures hangs gently on the horizon, particularly with a track like Pen Pal that uses a vocal and glittering melodic synth crystals around the edges to propel the journey onward. Moonilena takes Occam’s razor to the amorphous sound though, cutting down the mass into a slender, focused narrative that is self contained but propulsive. Everything in the producer’s music feels like it needs to be there, there’s no superfluous marrow, as on Cloud Key, the 6 minute centrepiece that evokes those extended WARP remixes from the 90s and at times also recalls the lo fi house boom of 10 years ago. There’s a delicacy and deep balance to Moonilena’s music that creates its own economy, everything in its right place and every place right. It’s music for possible futures, the future promise us idealistic liberals want.