KIM HIORTHØY: My Last Day (Smalltown Supersound)

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Posted on Nov 19th 2007 09:52 pm

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Kim Hiorthøy: My Last Day

KIM HIORTHØY
My Last Day
STS087
Smalltown Supersound 2007
11 Tracks. 44mins56secs

Kim Hiorthøy first came to the world’s notice in the mid nineties as the artist illustrator of Rune Grammofon’s rather lovely CD digipak covers. He also designs for Smalltown Supersound, has monographs devoted to his graphic work and has directed the filming of Supersilent 7. His first music release (Hei) came in 2000.

I Thought We Could Eat Friends starts out with a determined, bustling rhythm that conjures the mental image of a stick figure repeatedly climbing little, rounded hills, like a cartoon Sisyphus. It’s soon crowned by a brief, tootling melody that could have you humming along should you be so inclined. That melody builds in intensity before the song comes to a stop, a shiver shy of four minutes after it started. Beats Mistake is more tentative, sounding like it was made from biscuit tins and old cutlery. The little snatches of speech that cluster round certain parts of the track like barnacles make for a gently humorous impression.

The piano-led Skuggan is straight-backed, ever so slightly imperious in a freshly whitewashed sort of way. It leads a daintily formal dance, gathering its percussive partners as it proceeds. Stopping and starting over the course of its nine minutes, that piano seems to move to different rooms in a house, sounding at times closer, at times echoingly distant. Den Långa Berättelsen Om Stöv Och Vatten is a homemade hip-hop beat girded by woolly sheep and the sad, almost weary piano that is the signature sound of this album. Wry smiles all round.

Alt Går Så Langsomt picks its feet up and dances resolutely with a wavering analogue synth line for its companion. Hon Var Så Otydlig, Som En Gas is all too brief, its bass line sounds as if it is played on a rubber band a la Penguin Café Orchestra’s Telephone And Rubber Band.

In fact, once brought to mind, the comparison rings convincingly true for this listener. Kim Hiorthøy and PCO: cousins raised in different countries but sharing a skewed playfulness and make-do ethic. Cute without being irritating and tinged with an undeniable pathos, Kim Hiorthøy’s My Last Day is electronic music drawn at an endearingly human scale. I’m unexpectedly charmed.

3.5/5

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One Response to “KIM HIORTHØY: My Last Day (Smalltown Supersound)”

  1. onecasemanon 20 Nov 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I was really disappointed with this one, having loved Hei and Melke. There just didn’t seem to be the same energy on this record.