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- Chron + Cosmic Creation by Arve Henriksen
8/10 Mike Staff review, 06 March 2014
I've got a couple of new releases to review from Rune Grammofon this week and they couldn't be much more different. In the red corner is the latest sprawling prog instalment from Trondheim's favourite sons Motorpsycho, and here in the blue corner we have some experimental ambience from the prolific Arve Henriksen. Two whole CDs of it.
'Chron' isn't strictly new, but it was previously only available as a part of his £100+ box set so I don't imagine many of you have heard it. It veers confusingly between spooky sci-fi synth uncertainty, disorienting alien soundscapes and straightforward droney action, often combining woodwind and computers in unexpected but pleasant ways. The scattershot approach makes a little more sense when I notice that this CD was recorded and edited "in various locations such as hotels, airports, planes, railway stations and backstage".
The eight-part suite on disc two, 'Cosmic Creation', seems like a much more coherent and grand statement, a burbling cauldron of electronic and acoustic sounds. One minute he'll be carving out swathes of mechanical darkness that reminds me of his Supersilent buddy Deathprod (who mastered this CD incidentally), but then these are offset by the very human sounds of clarinets and saxophones which grate up against the creaking drones in satisfyingly jarring chunks. It's music that reminds me of boats manoeuvring around one another at night in a dense cloud of fog, high drama and understated near-nothingness all at once.
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