Icelandic electronica forged from the union of Skurken and Prince Valium...
Peter Marsh 2003-05-19
There are times when even the most hardened sonic explorers among us need something...well, nice to listen to. When the thought of punishing your stereo system with the latest Merzbow box set or clearing a dinner party with a spot of Autechre doesn't appeal,this prime slice of Icelandic electronica should do the trick.
Sprinkled with satisfying sonic tricks but stuffed full of good old melody, í págu fallsinswill appeal to those whose ears are massaged into states of bliss by Boards of Canada, Telefon Tel Aviv or savaath + savalas. Shifting beatsystems wriggle away underneath soft, chiming melodies and blurry smears of analogue synth, all washed down with a light drizzle of digital clicks and pops. It's melancholic, but never chilly in the way that much electronica can be and doesn't ever abstract itself out of existence. It's not afraid to be pretty.
Sk/um (aka the union of Icelandic IDM types Skurken and Prince Valium)understand the power of economy too; nine fragile constructions glide by in 35 minutes. Listening under headphones uncovers teeming sonic minutiae, much like observing a drop of water under a microscope reveals a world of otherwise invisible creatures. Following Eno's dictum that ambient music must be as 'ignorable as it is interesting', this music repays pretty much any level of attention you're prepared to give it.
The unity of mood throughout makes it hard to single out individual pieces, and maybe that accounts for the album's charm. But 'Finaleria" seems particularly noteworthy, if only for the totally unexpected and quite beautiful little guitar solo that emerges towards the end. Blissful. If your idea of chillout is something a little more enterprising than William Orbit dicking around with polite C20 classical music, this'll be right up your street.Diamond Geysers.