Kim Myhr and Lasse Marhaug have never worked together before, but they are both well established in the Norwegian experimental music scene: Marhaug as the uncrowned voice of noise, with hundreds of releases and projects under his belt, and Myhr is acclaimed in Norway as a composer and jazz guitarist of the explorative kind.
Originally an 8-channel piece commissioned by the MetaMorf biennale in Trondheim, this stereo reworked studio version is a tapestry of sound from guitar, synths, various sound objects and a little studio magic done by the two. The piece is inspired by both the 1988 science fiction film On The Silver Globe by Polish director Andrej Zulawski and Moon Dust, a book about Apollo programme astronauts by Andrew Smith, so my initial wonder was: will it be “spacious”?
Mindful. The term slow-noise comes to mind.
The first impression of the album is a mix of sounds hissing and crackling, slowly moving in and out of the frame, going back and forth, also from one side to another. It has some bass frequencies keeping me in place. At this stage I am not sure where it is going, but there are much and many forms of movement, although the two performers are not in a hurry. Another prominent feature after a while is the soothing, almost rainy-like sounds of weather, or as if a rain cloud is moving slowly over my head, moving in and out of the perimeter, relaxing me. Again, everything is about taking it easy, giving me no worries, helping me keep the faith, nothing matters but the movement at this moment. Mindful. The term slow-noise comes to mind.
The album is divided in five parts, although sometimes it is seamless moving between them, other parts are more distinct in their difference. No matter how, it keeps me interested by introducing new sounds from guitar, feedback, organs and synths, or even new found sounds all the way. “Part 3” especially makes for a total change in the previous sounds, almost difficult to explain, but suddenly it dawns on me: these are alien creatures moving about or eating, or attending to whatever business they need to execute. Certainly music from other worlds or in a different time, or dimension, or somewhere no man has set foot.
The slow movement makes sense, and I picture myself in the vast space, not being able to move fast anywhere. Spaceships are fast, of course, but travel is slow. Obviously. So is this piece. They have boldly gone places and unhurriedly explored, but has no-one been there before? It all doesn’t matter as the piece gradually continues in its spaceship. Then it moves into orbit, sucked into a black hole.