Not much is really known about the enigmatic Double Touch. Formed by Mark Olsen, an ARIA-winning musician who’s kept a fairly low profile until now, and Van-Anh Nguyen, a burgeoning classical crossover pianist, the duo began making music together in 2016 with a classically-minded re-work of Duke Dumont‘s “Ocean Drive.” The project is now fully underway, however, and Double Touch have made a landed on Lee Burridge‘s All Day I Dream imprint via their four-piece Adagio EP.
This pair is one to keep watch on. It’s clear they pay close mind to high production standards, and in carving a niche totally their own within the expanding space of classical/electronica crossover. Their work is lush, melodic, and even a bit mystical, with three of Adagio‘s four tracks evoking desert imagery in the mind. But first—a direct homage to the past with an adaptation of Albinoni’s iconic “Adagio In G Minor” into an ethereal, ambient title opener.
A wistful “Cape Cove” is next, whose Eastern-inspired instrumentation and soft, padded guitar riffs trudge across make believe sand dunes. “Baghdad” carries these motifs into its fold; albeit, in a completely different way. Orchestral strings play a larger role in “Baghdad” as well. The intriguing thing here is that there is a notable lack of piano in both of these tunes. It would appear that Van-Anh’s composition and arrangement expertise came more into play with these tunes, with Olsen serving as the engineer who pieced the finished products together and mixed them into balanced perfection.
Finally, “Piano Sines” appears to be a reference to sonic frequencies wrought by a piano; or in this case, a keyboard or synth. This production plays out with more suspenseful, tense tones, wading through mazes of staccato-fueled harmonies and brooding strings that trap listeners in a gossamer web until finish. Ultimately, each of Adagio’s four productions are class, and make for enchanting listens without crossing into gimmicky territory.
Order a copy of ‘Adagio’ here