Andreas Brandal - Shipwrecks
Despite the fact that this musician plays for more than 15 years already, my first acquaintance with him was this tape. A rather interesting one. This cassette, released in the beginning of 2010 via Licht und Stahl label in a small edition of 50, truly draws your attention. The record starts from field recordings - sound of metal, glass, soft rattle of matters, some fabric being torn apart and so on while you hear innocent and slightly anxious synth notes, sounding from the distance - the preparation (also the title of the first track) is done. This and the second track were the weaker link in the album for me. Field recordings, together with instruments and melodies somehow didn't create compelling atmosphere and it seemed more like random scratching of things and hunt for appropriate sounds. But from the third track it's really high quality stuff. Symbolic title of the track - "Things Fall into Places". Sounds goes together very well - noisier monumental episodes with calmer loops, synths and distant field recordings... You can hear the wash of the waves, clatter of birds in the distance and through monotonous loops or instrumental lines, attention is being drawn straight to the background. Monotonously bleak (in a good sense) lines of sound highlights the concept and picturesqueness of the album. B side starts in a colder manner than the first one. Sound, at first abstract and distant, finally start to take form. Furthermore, the album gets lighter though doesn't loose its intangibility and doesn't become just an amorphous jumble of sounds while it develops to a rather noisy process of decay of the ship. Ain't these references to Mary Celeste in the track? Then perhaps this thought is rendered through the whole album? Though I haven't found any clear hints about it, but I could guess about it. The tape ends with such a track that this album from good becomes very good. Absolutely minimalistic means - loop of guitar and synth, playing one note with distant touches of field recordings, but this is the track that I'd repeat and repeat over and over again. If it wouldn't be a tape and I wouldn't need to rewind it all over again, this track could be a terrific soundtrack of calm, nostalgic nights. This album is really special. Yearning, melancholy, menace and fear are so closely related with each other in this album that after listening to it for some time, you start to think that not the shipwrecks are the most important, but the ruins that are inside yourself. Still being washed by the sea of blood. Just tired birds of thoughts stops to rest on the ruins for short periods of time.
Label: Licht und Stahl