Childhood's End

BY Natalie Zina WalschotsPublished Jun 5, 2012

Norwegian avant-garde dark ambient experimenters Ulver have always been too artistically restless to stay in one place for long. Their aesthetic has never been static, evolving significantly with each of their eight full-lengths and numerous EPs and compilations. Childhood's End is another example of the band reaching beyond their comfort zone (if they ever had one to begin with), this time in the form of a compilation record. On this album, Ulver offer their interpretations of a collection of psychedelic rock tracks, many of them obscure. The result is a assemblage of songs that sound achingly familiar, but rather than evoking fondness or nostalgia, conjure the unsettling shadow versions of themselves. The trilling, sparkling quality of "The Trap," by Bonniwell's Music Machine, sours around the edges in Ulver's hands, as though it were breathing on the back of the listener's neck. "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night," originally recorded by Electric Prunes, creeps up on the listener with all of the breathless shock of waking in the middle of the night certain a stranger is sitting on your bed. The compositions feel deceptively simple ― toys in Ulver's usually much more complex and dextrous hands. For fans of psychedelia, and anyone who enjoys the sensation of being stalked by the music they're listening to, Childhood's End is both an engaging series of covers and an incredibly eerie one.

Latest Coverage