Review of Sval [12k1059]

Foxy Digitalis (.COM)

Ambient minimalists Pjusk pipe in auditory splendor from a remote Norwegian cabin to your speakers via 12k. Sval, their second release, moves gradually and in chromatic hues but never feels distant or dead. Pjusk call to mind Earth and atmosphere: lodes of minerals, fog hanging, clouds drifting; all sorts of natural phenomena as they exist and are perceived in human consciousness, steeped in imagination.

Some pieces (“Valldal”) abide within the strictures of minimalism, working in a narrow space mined deeply, patiently evoking drifting auroras. Elsewhere, on “Sus” or “Demring” for example, the ambient blur is tidied up with scratchy pseudo-beat textures and percussive crackle- though its not really crackly, but more of a wet gnawing sound.

Other compositional tools: collage, as documented on “Dis” with arcs of piano flourishes and glints of chopped vocals; and also straightforward drum programming that serves as a spine for rubbery tone crescendos on “Vidde.” Pjusk are all about the non-dualism on this recording, reconciling distance with immediacy, the organic and the artificial, ice with steam. Sval flows interrupted, porous, with compositions assuming their own character after a time before the next gradual melt or crystallization into another mood. 7/10 — Mike Pursley

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