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As I type these words I'm sheltering from rain in a 1920s Japanese house. The soft, shuffling sound of percussion and the whispered harmonies of female voices encircle me as I stare out of the window at an unfamiliar world glistening with light reflected from puddles. The music in my headphones is complemented by the soft patter of raindrops against windows and the wooden roof of the building. It's at this point that Sivutie, the debut album from producer Noah, makes perfect sense, its ethereal soundscapes the perfect soundtrack to an inspiring landscape.

Sivutie, a Finnish word meaning "side road", is a record that is content to fade into the background where it can affect you on a less conscious level - its musical forms turning the mundane into the otherworldly. Sounds like old music boxes and clock chimes are interwoven with ambient textures, hushed voices and soft beats to create a sonic palette that plays right into this tension of familiarity. It's music that feels considered and refined, as though Noah has worked tirelessly at perfecting every single moment on the record.

These moments are rich with sounds, so whilst ostensibly a "quiet electronic record", Sivutie isn't what you'd describe as minimalist. Even a track like the touching 'Pool Garden' layers in bubbling loops and distant choral voices, which give the music a sense of a physical context. It's as though Noah is playing piano near a babbling brook. Sure, the song would be just as beautiful without these adornments, but it wouldn't be as transportive. 'Tadzio' meanwhile, which is as close as the album gets to ambient, pairs a heartbeat-like percussion to spaced-out swells to great effect, suggesting bodies lost in a wide, open world.

Whilst there is a common aesthetic to the tracks on Sivutie, Noah injects each with its own unique personality. 'Flexion' draws heavily from trip-hop, with Noah's vocals pitched closer to the listener, whilst the percussion becomes more of a focus, setting a slow, seductive groove. 'Weak', takes the listener towards more contemporary electronica, with a sound reminiscent of the quieter moments of Lapalux's Nostalchic, but reimagined as a lullaby. Ambient chords hum over soft chimes and pitch-shifted vocals, before segueing into the first of two interludes - 'Drøm'. Here Noah's airy vocal is set against the tinkle of a music box which slowly begins to loop and echo over itself, distorting our perception of time, as though caught in a dream-like state.

Although the tracks on the record do flow into one another quite comfortably, they also work just as well as standalone pieces. Each song is another world, another state of mind to explore or a detour to take. This is where Sivutie excels as it allows listeners to easily dip into the album at random, something that can often be a problem with "mood music" like this, where albums are often structured a single piece of music. Sivutie is a collection of individual moments, that just so happen to work perfectly together.

The best way to look at Noah's debut record is as an experience, one which the listener helps to shape depending on whether they decide to listen to the album in full or not, and the environment in which they are in at the time. I'll admit that it took some time for the album to really click with me. It was enjoyable in those early listening sessions, but it wasn't until I allowed the album and its songs to transport me to another world that I understood the power of Noah's production. Sivutie is an enchanting record and one that, if you let it, will show you worlds you could only dream of. Close your eyes and let it guide you on a journey to a fantastical realm.

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