Morthound


(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Morthound: This Crying Age (1991), 6.5/10
Morthound: Spindrift (1992), 6/10
Morthound: The Goddess Who Could Make The Ugly World Beautiful (1994), 5/10
BJ Nilsen: Fade To White (2004), 5/10
BJ Nilsen: The Short Night (2007), 5.5/10
BJ Nilsen: The Invisible City (2010), 6/10
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Swedish-born Benny Nilsen started recording as Morthound during the Scandinavian "cold wave" of Raison d'Etre and In Slaughter Natives. Morthound yielded the electroacoustic suites of This Crying Age (Cold Meat Industry, 1991), with The Age of Crying (15:33), Age of Dreams (17:48) and Glaciers of Scandinavia (12:31), Spindrift (1992), with the 17-minute Riverine, and The Goddess Who Could Make The Ugly World Beautiful (1994).

Nilsen then changed moniker and began recording as Hazard a tetralogy of albums tha focused on digital processing of natural sounds: Lech (Malignant, 1996), North (Ash, 1998), Wind (Ash, 2001) and Land (Touch, 2002).

Nilsen then began releasing music under his own name BJ Nilsen, notably on Fade To White (Touch, 2004), with the 15-minute Nine Ways Till Sunday and the ten-minute Purple Phase, and The Short Night (Touch, 2007), with the 14-minute Front, that first toys with a dirty ear-splitting drone and then indulges in an undulating minimalist trance, the nine-minute Finisterre, that transitions from confused samples to an ominous buzzing sound to loud floating cosmic drones, and the eleven-minute Viking North, whose faintly pulsing turns into an industrial-grade hiss. They were both amateurish drone-oriented works based on manipulations of field recordings and instruments. Each piece seems to enjoy a disorienting strategy of mutating abruptly into something else, shedding its identity like a snake's old skin.

Nilsen also recorded a trilogy with Stilluppsteypa: Vikinga Brennivin (2005), Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna (Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2006) and Passing Out (The Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2008). BJ Nilsen, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, and Helgi Thorsson also collaborated on Man From Deep River (Editions Mego, 2009), a musique-concrete variation on a found tape from 1975.

Other collaborations included: Storm (Touch, 2006) with Chris Watson, 22' 22" (iDEAL, 2007) with Zev, Second Childhood (Quecksilber, 2007) with Hildur Gudnadottir and Stilluppsteypa.

Space Finale (Editions Mego, 2010) and Big Shadow Montana (The Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2011) were further collaborations with Stilluppsteypa devoted to pensive, melancholy electronica. Goda Nott (Editions Mego, 2012), instead, found the trio delving into a claustrophobic sense of gloom and doom.

Nilsen continued his program of austere droning music for acoustic instruments, electronics and field recordings on the ambitious The Invisible City (Touch, 2010), with the 17-minute Gravity Station, a much more static and stately piece of music than anything he had done before although as usual completely mishandled at the end, the 15-minute Virtual Resistance, possibly his best composition yet, a subdued and funereal flow of drones disturbed by cryptic glitches and mysterious natural sounds, and the eleven-minute Gradient, one of his most elegant droning metamorphoses, and the mini-album Vinyl (Touch, 2011), comprising two lengthy untitled compositions. Despite all the ambition, many of Nilsen's efforts still sounded amateurish, either too simplistic or too unstable (and particularly weak were the endings).

The supergroup Evil Madness (Nilsen, Petur Eyvindsson, Johann Johannsson, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Helgi Thorsson) played cute disco-pop on Demon Jukebox (2006), Demoni Paradiso (2008), Cafe Cicago (2010) and Super Great Love (2011).

BJ Nilsen also formed the Swifter, a trio with Berlin-based Australian-born pianist Simon James Phillips and Italian percussionist Andrea Belfi, whose debut The Swifter (The Wormhole, 2012) excels at a sort of electronic version of the trance-jazzy Necks (Wave Guidance Allows Three).

The project Novi_Sad, namely BJ Nilsen, Daniel Menche, Francisco Lopez and Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, debuted with the neurosciences-inspired Neuroplanets (2013).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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