Tomas Nordmark | Eternal Words
Valley of Search (LP/DL)
The debut vinyl from London-based Swedish sound artist Tomas Nordmark (mastered by Chihei Hatakeymama) has just arrived. It’s bright, icy, a bit twee from the opener, Eternal. Though like the minimal cover art in shades of blue, Eternal Words has a bright and a shady side. The pinging chime-like synths move at variable speeds, darting about. There are many a punctuation hidden at successive intervals here, Speaking starts with one and repeats the swerving motif amid aerated flux. The record has the distinct breadth of distracted ambient chords like nerve endings, tumbling from the fore to background.
The passages are half barren, half emblazoned with spectral shapes, that dance like shadows in a dusky light, all the while keeping vivid tones peeking from the sidelines. The compositions are mildly minimal, yet yield to the allure of abstraction. Such is one of the more elusive tracks here, Future. It’s a space jazz locked in a time capsule returning to Earth from somewhere down the pike. Soft edges meet fractured percussion in a sleep chamber. And while this has mostly good feels, tracks like Days and Giving slip away as if you are looking perpendicularly out of a speeding vehicle, just staring at the blurring lines of the passing scape.
The final resting point comes as Strength closes the record in stretched secrecy. ‘Tis old school ambient right here. Gauzy and far-reaching, the work is enveloped by melancholic shades of whisper-soft tonalities, suddenly interrupted by a weary near tribal percussion and oscillating synths. One might imagine an entire record based on this in long-form, though it serves as a solid teaser for what may come next.