Baltra - Ted
96 and Forever
2 x 12" Coloured Vinyl LP
It's a bit like a time capsule of expression,” says DJ and producer Baltra of his debut album. “It started out as an idea lacking focus - to just release an album - but took on greater meaning when my father passed away somewhat unexpectedly. He was the rock in our family and I wouldn't be who I am today without him. I've titled the album Ted in his honour.”
Whilst an unexpected tragedy may have shaped the trajectory of the album and given it a sense of purpose and meaning - whilst also tinting it with sadness - musically the result feels more rooted in triumph and elation. As grief can often do, it plunges one deep into themselves, allowing them to connect to a deeper and more intimate level than perhaps normally possible. This has been the case on Baltra’s debut and the result is a deeply personal, intricate and stirring collection of electronic music.
Fusing subtle fizzing beats, gently whirring melodies, engulfing atmospheres and tracks that weave between dance floor euphoria and isolated headphone listening, Baltra explores th depths and nuances of electronic music. He’s made a record that delves as deep into tones textures and moods as he has into his own self. “The album went through many phases,” he says. “But in the end staying true to my emotions along this whirlwind of a ride seemed like the
proper way to do it rather than to conceptualize something that I couldn't even put into words at the time. With this record I've aimed to really bring the listener into my world - into my audio landscape.”
The album gently glides between genres, subtle flickers of drum n bass nestle up against minimal techno whilst clouds of ambient coat tracks in a dreamy and immersive fog. As a result, this record feels less like presenting a singular exploration of genre and more a presentation of Baltra as a person; capturing his moods and feelings as they move, change and grow. “The vibe for me when creating music is to always stay honest with myself and how I'm feeling at that moment in time,” he says. “I find that this always leads me to being the most creative I can be in any environment. I can feel quite vulnerable but I tend to think that's when I'm at my best and it's something I'd like to share with my audience - emotional freedom and a connection through shared experience above and beyond spoken language.”
Despite the intimate and deeply personal nature of this record (with one of the tracks even going as far as sampling one of his own father's songs) the music still explores a universality in music and a sense of community, capturing the magic, ecstasy and power that electronic music has in connecting people from different worlds. This is reflected by Baltra inviting South Korean artist Park Hye Jin to contribute on the lead track, which feels emblematic to the album’s ability to relate and connect.