Bjarmi by Stereo Hypnosis & Christopher Chaplin


Stereo Hypnosis & Christopher Chaplin | Bjarmi
Fabrique Records (CD/DL)

Collaborating here are a trio of Icelandic electronic artists, Stereo Hypnosis (Óskar Thorarensen, Pan Thorarensen + Thorkell Atlasson) alongside British composer Christopher Chaplin on Vienna-based imprint Fabrique. Here, on these four tracks these gentlemen explore some interesting cross-textural style that only comes from combining various backgrounds. At first they lay out a hypnotic ground, a touch mysterious, lucent and mirrorlike. The velvety drone on Klif has a lonesome rhythm that seems to cry out to the wind. The minimal effects offer a slippery sense of its atmosphere, somewhat cavelike and a bit stoic, perhaps influenced by the live location in which this was recorded in Hvammstangi (northern Iceland).

From a compound perspective Heiði is a bit more ambient and drifting within its fluttering textures. I feel a ten story-up perspective, like a gliding hawk peering down at crashing waves at 15fps. Just plain ethereal in its progression. Heggur is much different, and a bit quirky, reclusive, and several shades darker. Everything is laid in this cradle-like ellipse of variegated grays, with enchanting melodic excrescence that flickers with an engaging, echoed string arrangement. Weirdly I can detect the slightest inference of the early stasis separated basslines of The Cure, here amid the most animated chirping birds.

As we approach Tangi we are lost, deep in a rainforest of some kind, bellowing horn-like drone, and Elysium-inducing flutes. The space might seem apocalyptic at first but a tribal essence is deeply woven in this fabric, or is it the call of the Viking gods of yore? Theirs is a sound of luxuriating in escapism. Perhaps its a time capsule, or it could very well be a place far flung into the future, but the gentle beat warms the subconscious.

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