8/10 Ant Staff review, 22 February 2017
‘Nattmusic’ is an Incredibly beautiful, profound and quietly arresting work from Mattias Gustafsson, whom is possibly best known as noise maker Altar of Flies and also records as Ornaments and Cryme. This is his first output under his own name - taking off the mask for a deeply personal record that explores Greek/Roman scientist Claudius Galenus theories of how human temperament links to the world around us, and all of the implications that entails “the transience of environment and being, the regenerative intimacy between life and the earth, the prospect of death and decay as integral components of rebirth”.
It’s a relatively stark contrast to his more abrasive, ominous recordings under his alter-egos. This feels somehow more refined and yet retains the rough hewn character of his sound. The overall mood is more tranquil and sophisticated, subtle and often sparse with the spaces between the delicate acousmatic sounds and field recordings filled with a satisfying sense of emptiness where notes seem to float and hang in a space somewhere between life and death, where lies an exquisite beauty in nothingness. The closing track “Känn ingen oro, Känn ingen ängslan." has a gorgeous harrowing piano loop with tape drop-outs that I could happily listen to forever.
After just two listens, I can’t quite put my finger on what’s so intriguing about ‘Nattmusic’ - it stirs something deep within me and takes me to a place that feels somehow familiar - almost like a bardo state of consciousness or like floating in amniotic fluid. Once you’re in the zone, this is a very powerful, refreshingly peculiar record.
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- Nattmusik by Mattias Gustafsson
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