JUV: Juv (Miasmah Recordings)


Posted on Mar 8th 2011 01:12 am

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Juv: Juv

Miasmah Recordings 2011
13 Tracks. 73mins08secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

The story behind this record is as odd and unusual as its content. Toward the end of the nineties, two Norwegian teenagers, Are Mokkelbost and Marius von der Fehr, were experimenting with dense guitar textures and bleak drones, but for one reason or another, the relationship collapsed before any music could be released, leaving the recordings they had gathered in the couple of years they worked together unfinished and abandoned, bound to never be heard. Fast-forward to 2009, when Mokkelbost, now a firmly established musician, happened to come across these long lost tapes and, having realised the potential of the music documented, decided to get back in touch with von der Fehr and the pair got down to work, editing down the wealth of material into an album, finally completing the work.

The particularly dark abrasive textures and bleakscapes collected here feel very much at home on Miasmah. Although primarily build from electric guitar sounds, the majority of the tracks here could be likened to the remains of dead stars. There is often little more than a faint glow pulsating from the dense sonic conglomerates assembled by the pair, and whatever energy is emitted is often swallowed by vast clouds of echoes and delays.

A notable exception to this, Revolusjoner bows under the pressure of a series of riffs, but even there, the sound remains partly muffled and filtered, so the distortions never appear quite as splintered as they naturally would. The addition of strident saturated layers in the second part of the piece however instills a new level of fear and oppression which, although short-lived, continues to resonate for some time after they have died down. A similar feeling emanates from Undergang and Sut, this time triggered by rather chilling screams, human in the latter, possibly animal in the former, piercing through the doom-laden atmosphere of these pieces.

Elsewhere, the pair opt for rather more nebulous soundscapes, the original sound sources so extremely processed and refined that they are, for the most part, barely identifiable as guitar sounds. The vast desolate plains that characterize the title track, Stue, Forvasel or Verk are in stark contrast to the more angular moments of this record, but this allows for possibly more progressive compositions. This is especially the case on the epic closing piece Verk, which goes through a series of phases ranging from dense ethereal structures in the first few minutes to extremely delicate and pastoral arrangements around the half-way mark to near orchestral grandeur toward the end.

Whether this collaborative effort is doomed to never be repeated, or might spark a new endeavour for Are Mokkelbost and Marius von der Fehr, only the future will tell, but if this album were to remain an isolated effort, it is quite a magistral stroke.


Miasmah Recordings
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

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