Thursday, February 26, 2009

Olafur Arnalds - "Variations Of Static" CDEP

With just his second release, Icelandic composer Arnalds creates a vibrant and intimately beautiful set of 5 instrumental tunes that combine the austere classical melancholy of Arvo Part with the modern sounds of glitchy electronica (think Autechre or Aphex Twin). It's an incredible (and all too-short) collection, embracing rich and sonorous strings, bittersweet piano, and, on occasion, looping yet subtle textural manipulations. The first track, "Fok", marries some minimal booms and skitters to the sensitive string/piano foundation, and "Lokaðu Augunum" is a stunning treat in the ambient tradition of Stars Of The Lid. As a complete work, this 21+ minute release flows effortlessly, ripe with emotion and delicacy. 'Variations Of Static' is a mature, thoughtful, rich, and stylish set of warmly evocative music that shows Olafur has quite a future if he can keep up this kind of quality. That's a full-on recommendation. (Erased Tapes)

Olafur's personal site

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