Otto A Totland, also known as approximately 50% of Deaf Center, returns with his first solo release in three years. The Lost continues in the vein of Totland’s debut Pinô, with haunting pieces for upright piano. Like for instance Goldmund and Daigo Hanada, the instrument sounds as if mic'd very close to the keyboard, with softened notes and the fluttering texture of fingers and keys. Totland’s melodies are, as ever, sophisticated and plaintive. Wait for a rainy day, then stick it on near a window. Presented in beautiful textile packaging by the unostentatiously-named Sonic Pieces.
- CD £27.99
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- sp 026-cd
- sp 026-cd / Limited CD on Sonic Pieces. Edition of 350 copies with handmade textile artwork
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- The Lost by Otto A Totland
8/10 Jamie Staff review, 28 November 2017
Here’s a lovely thing from Sonic Pieces: a recording available as a limited edition vinyl LP, or as an even-more limited CD -- with the usual loving care given over to its handmade, part-card / part-textile packaging. Otto A Totland (also one half of the excellent Deaf Center and Nest) was previously heard, solo, caressing and tinkling the ivories on his 2014 record ‘Pino’ (long sold out) and here he is with a new collection of graceful, delicate piano miniatures.
The Lost sounds a lot like the more minimally melodic end of Nils Frahm’s oeuvre (‘Screws’): warmly flowing, rarely breaking out of babbling mountain-stream pace and every bit as crystal clear. In fact, it sounds like one of the mics was placed close to Otto’s fingers and the stool he was sitting on, as you can sometimes hear the clacks and creaks of keys being pressed and wood settling -- even at low volume.
These chamber pieces frolick and sway along prettily and sometimes the notes wobble and wibble the way Frahm does it. Which makes sense, as who laid these tracks down on tape, mixed and mastered the record -- why, it was our Nils of course! Adding to the pianissimo magic. Softly softly… Totland and Frahm also wish to thank Carsten Schulz for ‘always making the piano sound great’. And it really does.
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