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coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 231 - 07/02/15

A.Karperyd
Woodwork
Novoton

As far as I can fathom, the motivation behind a lot of experimental electronic music is to take sounds that have obvious beauty, then manipulate them to such an extent that their heavily degraded character has an irresistible pull on our emotions. It's like hearing something with nostalgic resonance irreparably damaged by time, but still bearing some grains of its former radiance. You have to burrow through the noise, squint into the glare, let your ears fall out of focus. Something lost always seems sweeter in retrospect.

On Woodwork, Swedish artist Andreas Karperyd occasionally brings to mind the muted throb of Loscil ('Natural Nature', 'Woodwork'), the awe-inspiring grandeur of Fennesz ('Correlation and Dependence') or the recent wave of dark industrial ambient ('Low Light Conditions'). However, there's sufficient individual character - plenty of grain and craft in this Woodwork - to prevent any accusations that Karperyd's music is derivative. Indeed, according to his label Novoton, Karperyd has been releasing music since the late '80s, including a collaboration with Wire's Graham Lewis, so he's had plenty of time to evolve as an artist - which you can hear in Woodwork's lived-in atmosphere.

What makes this album worth returning to is the depth and pliability of sounds Karperyd deploys: the deeply satisfying rhythmic beds of 'Natural Nature'; the aching EBowed guitar snaking its way through 'Winter Tone'; the glimmering, light-filled tones of 'Villovagar'. The eight tracks never feel rushed or forced. These parallax soundfields take their own sweet time to flex and warp around you.

Copyright © 2015 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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