There’s a chill in the air…
Jason Lamoreaux (aka The Corrupting Sea) and company have begun a quasi re-vamp on the Somewherecold imprint that was born back in 2005, based in the American South. This year, alone, they have already released eight new recordings, and here we focus on two of the latest by the New Zealand duo Winterwood (debut) and Norwegian sound artist Anders Brørby, respectively.
Winterwood | Forest (CD/DL)
Opening with a fusion of clang and bubbly electronics, the duo (Zac & Holly Winterwood) fluctuates in a chilling minimal space of ambient drone. I’m reminded of schoolyard recess, of church bells, as they blend flowy strings throughout In Memories. There’s a lot to make you pause to listen on Forest. A whole lot of breadth, of breath, breathing, exhaling, and repeating the process, by way of engaging lush harmonies. In their fleeting, ethereal tones Winterwood brings a tingling balance to their soundscapes, released here in a short edition of only fifty. In these four pieces their arrangement works best in longform, especially on Painted Moon, which in moments sounds like some anomaly between classical and New Age though manages to escape the sappier side of both, this side of the millenium. In other moments the listener may imagine themselves upon a locomotive as it moves through tunnels and icy forests, Amidst Trees. This record whispers with illuminating flourishes that call out to the spirit of Mother Nature.
Anders Brørby | Kill Count (CD/DL)
The introduction on Prologue (the animals) has this tweaky feel, like a broken reality full of various animal and vehicular sounds woven into ephemeral harmonies that are somewhat short-circuited. The abstract nature of Brørby’s approach is uniquely dis/engaging as it blends a poker-faced collage of rhythmic and punctuated bits that gel and cause for curled eyebrow. While there are elements of elusive electronica smooched into the mix, there are as many arresting flashes that touch on cult horror flicks and other grungy obscurities. It’s unique how this can transition between minimalism and noisy assault within the same track without sounding too coy or being off-putting. The glitch is real, especially when it sounds as if bullets have been discharged on Pete, Johnny, Otis, Gary, and Lars, 1986. Somehow, when this goes into the dormant side of ambient, when it is its most incomprehensible, is where it seems most penetrating.
Kill Count continuously defies any finger-pointing in terms of genre, it is both ingrained with the essence of a post-apocalyptic microsound and a deep dark wryness that will keep your ears active from end to end.