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Ghent imprint B.A.A.D.M. welcomes Mattias Gustafsson (Altar of Flies, Ornaments) back for a follow-up to 2017’s Nattmusik. Frånvarande comprises a twenty-minute piece (first released as Ornaments in 2012) on the A side and four new movements on the B. All are in keeping with Gustafsson’s preferred way of treating piano, loops, environmental recordings and obliterated cassette to indulge in decayed, forlorn suggestion.

Limited Vinyl LP £19.99 B.A.A.D.M.006

LP on B.A.A.D.M. Edition of 300 copies.

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Frånvarande by Mattias Gustafsson
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9/10 Ant Staff review, 20 February 2019

Swedish sound artist Mattias Gustafsson, I think, has been most active under his Altar Of Flies alias producing some superb noisier works utilizing tapes and electronics. 'Frånvarande' is apparently the prelude and epilogue to his excellent 2017 record 'Nattmusik' recorded under his real name. So if you dig that record (which you totally should if your ears are functioning correctly) then you are obliged to get stuck into this. But if you've never heard that album then you could just as well start here as this album is freakin' gorgeous.

'Isolation of the Instruments' which comprises the entire first side of the record is a thing of devastating beauty. A brittle piece of sound that just exudes and stirs a sorrowful feeling that seems to become more sad and lonesome as it plays - seemingly dissolving and crumbling before the ears. Imagine the ghost of Basinski's 'Disintegration Loops' all dressed in black, mourning at a funeral.

The second side of the album is made from four movements of decaying piano/tape loops and drones, all recorded with an intimacy which makes you feel present in the room during recording, yet paradoxically take us somewhere else completely, somewhere deep inside ourselves, searching for answers that perhaps can never be found. Recommended.



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