Review Summary: Ambient electronica that's as direct as it is atmospheric.
There's often a concrete motive to contemporary songwriting. Regardless of what happens, the goal is more often than not to write something listenable. Whether the routes taken to craft a "good song" involve the perfect hook, a good beat or something totally different, it's safe to say that in many cases songs are being written just to be enjoyed, and there's really nothing wrong with that. It all seems fairly obvious, and for me to point it out in such a bloated, arrogant and pretentious way is, well, arrogant and bloated. The only real reason to frame an idea in such a way is to present the obvious.
The obvious, in this case, is that very few albums craft themselves as experiences.
The album in question is not beyond contemporary songwriting. It was not written with any ulterior motives; it's an album you're going to enjoy listening to. It is, however, also a release you can get totally lost in. Crafted as the soundtrack to the Norweigan film of the same name, Svidd Neger
(which I will not translate) is ultimately nothing more than that. The movie is, to be frank, completely fuck
ed up. Filled with racial epithets, axe-murders, alcoholic servants of god and some hardcore farming action, it's quite surprising to say that the soundtrack is absolutely beautiful. Ab-so-fuck
The album is not something you'll grasp at first, though it's not to say you won't enjoy it right from the get-go. While the ambience it creates serves as an excellent backdrop (it is a soundtrack, after all), true appreciation for it might not come until you dive right in. With the right listening climate, Svidd Neger
possesses the ability to take the listener on a twisted journey. Lending itself to the quasi-formal tone you're currently reading, the album is highly sophisticated in its presentation. Strings cascade between methodical drumming, contradicting the occasional blips, bloops and sound clips from the film. Horns weave in and out, but they're mixed in such a way that they're not nearly as intrusive as they've been in past albums, namely the saxophone on Perdition City
While the compositions are separated into tracks, Svidd Neger
is best taken when you're hard-pressed to notice the separation. Absorbing the album as a whole ensures that the aptly titled "Waltz of King Karl" wont contrast harshly with swooping percussion found in Sadface. The melancholic strings rarely seem out of place with the electronic backdrops, and while the music is increasingly textured, it never becomes invasive. The sound manages to be highly ambient all the while benefiting to any extra attention you give it.
was the group's first official foray into feature film composition, yet at a mere 32 minutes it's shorter than their work on the short film Lyckantropen Themes (but only by one minute). With length being the only detractor, the album is an experience that's over before you want it to be. Mirroring the light-hearted yet concurrently disturbing aura of the film, Svidd Neger
can be appreciated on a myriad of levels. Put it in the background while you work, or lose yourself. Not unlike the highly controversial film it's paired with, the album can craft an experience you'll not soon forget, only with less…well, just watch the movie, you'll see what I'm getting at.