REVIEW: AMBIENTBLOG (.NET)
Not counting their recent collaboration "Drowning in the Sky", with Sleep Orchestra, "Solstøv" is Pjusk's fourth release - and their third for the 12K label. Since their debut in 2007, the Norwegian duo (Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Andre Sagevik) have built themselves quite an impressive reputation. With "Solstøv" , (Sol - Sun / Støv - Dust) they don't disappoint - to say the least!
While maintaining their original 'glacial' sound, the original starting point from this album is quite different: the complete album is created using the sound of the trumpet (played by Kåre Nymark jr.). A bright natural sound to start with, but it is also heavily processed to create the characteristically delicate sound layers. (Taylor Deupree added extra sonic manipulations that he created using the Kyma Sound Design System). But how strange and alienating these sound manipulations may be at times, the music always stays connected to its natural source: the trumpet.
The use of the trumpet in ambient soundscapes is not exactly new: think Jon Hassell, Arve Henriksen and - to some extent - Nils Petter Molvaer. (It can hardly be a coincidence that, apart from Jon Hassell, these musicians all come from Norway, too?.)
Pjusk manages to take the the music to another level of abstraction. The 'jazz' connection is still vaguely present, but it's a shimmer in the background, hovering behind the 'sparkling and fractured textural fragments'.
"This is an album that channels the Norwegian landscape in all of its stark beauty; its cold, its warmth, and its place in the universe. To listen to Pjusk is to sit quietly in an endless night."
The ambient music genre in general may be in danger of collapsing under a 'sameness overload', but Pjusk restores faith with their new release. "Solstøv" feels like waking up.