Hugely informal, but warmly winning in his organic production and arrangement...
Martin Longley 2007-11-23
Music is only one arrow in Norwegian Hiorthøy's quiver, but he keeps all of his renaissance points equally sharpened. Kim's visual profile is all around, for admirers of electronic sounds similar to his own. The Rune Grammofon label's identity is completely (and brilliantly) established by this minimalist colourscaper. But, significantly, for Smalltown Supersound's covers, Hiorthøy deliberately employs a more chaotic form of penmanship.
He's still frequently found in Oslo, but Kim has been spending much of his time in Berlin of late, laying down sampled tracks for this album, and preparing the contents of Tago Mago, his recent book of artwork. Hiorthøy is also a writer, photographer and cinematographer, but these pursuits haven't prevented him from being fairly prolific since his 2001 audio debut.
Musically, Hiorthøy's closer in spirit to the graphic style employed by Smalltown Supersound: informally sketchy, wilfully untidy and ragged-edged. An Akai MPC sampler is his tool, more often found in the realms of hip hop than wayward electronica. This allows a more spontaneous, hands-on feel, particularly during live performance.
My Last Day opens with a 1980s-style electro trounce - clattery and analoggy - with a bashing bass beat, stripped and lean, a naive melody warbling hither and thither. Loops are determinedly casual, often hiking up the room ambience and background chatter, discovering musicality in microscopic repetition. He's a messy boy, but always clears up his bedroom afterwards...
A particular stand-out is the ten-minute "Skuggan", beginning softly and sparsely, with piano and melodica, then introducing a lumbering beat to underlay its playful fragmentation. Hiorthøy inhabits the field with catchy little snippets, introduced, disappearing, then returning at strategic points. He's hugely informal, but warmly winning in his organic production and arrangement techniques.