Saturn And The Sun | In Love With The Extreme
Though this is listed as a twelve-inch (edition of 300) and it clocks in at about thirty-eight minutes — which would be a credible LP for any classic record. That said, incoming are Swedish sound duo Saturn and the Sun is Joachim Nordwall and Henrik Rylander and In Love With The Extreme was recorded in 2017, expertly broken into four parts which begin with the vibrating melody of Cross The Line. With its dense bass lows and ghostly minimal effects its like riding a drone wave. The nominal shifts in tone are effective, hypnotic, and in limbo.
This is either an endurance record for a deep listener, or one of those purely spaced out acoustic moments where the rapture has a soundtrack and one is consensually gliding ever-slowly into the void with it. I’m reminded of those classic noir moments in a great Hitchcock flick where the imagination fills in the blanks of the action.
There is no doubt that as a duo these two individuals become an interesting force playing on the hallows of a lurid form of ambient. The title track, also a dozen minutes like the previous opener, starts off with a aerated buzzing, more airy than harsh there are a few pushy bumps in the mix, along with a slicing high tone synth that floats almost invisibly in the background. This is not one of those records I’d put on repeat, it would be set aside for selective listening as it leaves more of an awkward, memorable impact in the way Jim O’Rourke’s Terminal Pharmacy did when I heard it back in the late 90’s. I have only listened to that one once again since, but will never forget it.
Slowly the track evolves into a contained beat with such minimal tweaked effects. The overall atmosphere is a bit moody, but the beat combined with additional noise makes for an undecided state of mind. The reverb just spread. Pleasure Is Relief has a sweet wavering buzz effect that separates early on. The tone glides so so smoothly as the volume increases at a snail’s pace until the whole thing warps off course with a vorticular veiled static.
The final piece is Saturn War Chant and from the outset one of the signatures of these two sound sculptors is their languid pacing and smouldering delivery. This one pulses with a reserved anxiety, if there were such a thing. The atmosphere is claustrophobic, thick and uneasy. With each flare and flickering feedback, it goes on like a dead man walking (not the David Bowie song). The industrial layers change but the constant dull beam continues to pulse until the very last moment, right through the thick of it.