Review of Salt og Vind [12k1094]

Fluid Radio (UK)

Salt og Vind (Salt and Wind) comes from Norway’s Pjusk, aka Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik. Arriving after an eight-year break, Salt og Vind is also Pjusk’s first solo outing. The record details the forces of nature and its contrasting mood swings, from the violent to the calm, the at-ease to the tempest, but the music also contains a very human struggle – maybe an abject failure – to latch onto the eternal and instead seek out temporary pleasures. The longer pieces counteract the lapsing attention spans of life in 2022, and the slower pace leaves behind a sense of lasting fulfilment. The difference is night and day.

Pjusk’s fourth album for 12k is stark and remains low in temperature. The rhythms are cold to the touch, emerging from the ice and splintering like a webbing of frost. Looking beyond nature, there’s a sense of the infinite and the finite, one presiding over the other, the immortal standing tall over the mortal, still in existence even as the other falls. Although elemental, the atmospheric ambient carries something of the spiritual and the philosophical.

Recurring harmonies are buried deep in the mix, rolling in the dense, clouded textures. It stings and whips up the breeze, and the notes present slightly clearer images among its fog-coated, autumnal surroundings. The electronic tones are like age-old lifeforms with deeply-embedded survival instincts, able to go through anything and come out on the other side.

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