SVARTE GREINER: Kappe (Type Recordings)


Posted on Feb 20th 2009 01:49 am

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Svarte Greiner: Kappe

Type Recordings 2009
04 Tracks. 44mins25secs

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Things have got a lot colder in Svarte Greiner’s epic aural world since his debut, Knive, was released, in 2006, and colder still since he last appeared as one half of Deaf Center the year before. Gone are the cinematic orchestral drapes, replaced with dense mournful sound formations drenched with chilling noises and spectral effects.

With his first output as Svarte Greiner, Norway’s Erik Skodvin already showed an unhealthy taste for dark matter, but he takes this to an entirely different level with his sophomore effort. Kappe flirts with desolate isolationist landscapes on more than one occasion on here, especially on its two centre pieces, Where Am I and Candle Light Dinner Actress, burrowing through vast spaces, filled with distant echoes, noises and distortions to create the soundtrack for a doomed journey through Hell. With just four tracks, spanning three quarters of an hour, Skodvin pushes as far as he’s ever been into post-apocalyptic soundscapes, abandoning any notion of musicality to concentrate on the pure atmospheric aspect of sound. In part reminiscent of BJ Nilsen’s early incarnation as Morthound, especially his 1991 album This Crying Age, and other similar bleak releases that have appeared on Sweden’s Cold Meat Industries since, Kappe also draws blood from some of the darkest releases from Skodvin’s own label, Miasmah to serve his purpose.

Album opener Tunnel Of Love couldn’t be any more mis-titled. There is no love of sort to be found in the drone-like cloak of noise and reverb that stretches here, and even less as a thick layer of what could be either chimes or chains swallows it all before turning vaporising into distortions. Of the four tracks, this is the one that comes closest to avant noise exploration, but Skodvin never totally leaves this behind with his subsequent compositions. Where Am I, Candle Light Dinner Actress and Last Light are closer in form and structure and seem to belong to a same narrative line. While it is virtually impossible to isolate and identify any particular sound, all three tracks bear traces of post-industrial decay, which occasional collide with vaguely recognisable instrumental forms (saturated guitars perhaps, or distorted cello) in the midst of dense clouds or in the deep of Spartan plains.

Kappe represents a leap into the unknown for Erik Skodvin, as he takes his project into ever more inspiring experimental territories. Where Knive provided some moments of temporary reality, Kappe locks the listener in and injects shots of claustrophobia right under the skin and continues to oppress and torture until the end. Skodvin has created a difficult yet fascinating record and it is anyone’s guess where he can go from here.


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