Svalastog Woodwork

Tromsø, Norway, with a population of 50,000, would seem to have some native energy that powers experimental musicians. Biosphere, Alog and Röyksopp have all exported their own versions of winter-warmed electronics and are now joined by Per Henrik Svalastog. On his second solo full-length he explores the traditional sounds of his remote home, using Harpeleik (Norwegian zither), Bukkehorn (ram’s horn) and Kuhorn (cow’s horn) as source instruments. Opener "the wood metal friction” introduces these sounds with a fanfare that is soon recast into a marching lope of bass pulses and seesawing strings While Svalastog never masks or pitch shifts the original tonality, he is fairly liberal is his cutting and ordering of blocks. The tracks have a mantra-like quality, with the zither strings clipped and interlocking into regular measures and the horns blunted into bass notes. The result is the kind of micro-house you might expect in the most modern of mead halls. Ultimately Woodwork is a remarkably pure and simple synthesis of temporally discrete elements. The hills may soon be alive with laptops recording the horns of Ricola barkers and Balalaikas ringing out. (Rune Grammofon)