Tobias Hellkvist :: Vesterhavet (self release)

Vesterhavet has been shaped and fine-tuned, the Swede’s swathes stretched and swollen over years in teeming layers of transportive tone accretion, into chronostatic sprawl.

Tobias Hellkvist :: Vesterhavet (self release)

Ambient electroacoustic artist Tobias Hellkvist‘s latest album, Vesterhavet, has been slow to emerge following his two self-defining works, Evolutions and Everything Is Connected (Home Normal, 2010, 2012), though in the meantime his creative fields have not lain fallow–testament to this being Kaskelot (Tokyo Droning, 2011), Cay (Dronarivm, 2014), Pause (Dragon’s Eye, 2015), and, most eloquently, Turquoise (Small Fragments, 2014).

Hellkvist has made this his first proper full-length album since 2012 digital only—no messy discs, vinyl or tape to clutter living space—for the modern home listener, no matter, though matter matters to some who may bemoan a standalone drone—with no stone to touch, as it were. He here invokes his own authorial need—‘to start finishing things rather than adding to the pile, in order to achieve a more relaxed, focused and structured working environment. Releasing this record myself […] gives me closure in a way, allowing me to proceed creatively in my own pace with future projects…’ 

Be that as it may, Vesterhavet has been shaped and fine-tuned, the Swede’s swathes stretched and swollen over years in teeming layers of transportive tone accretion, into chronostatic sprawl in a kind of trompe l’oreille’ (Batchelor, 2007), an effect noted elsewhere. In some ways it resumes where last full-length, Everything Is Connected, left off, having started on it straight after, Hellkvist concedes ‘it makes sense if this feels like a continuation of that sound,’ though he claims to have ‘definitely explored some new ways of working on this album, both technically and musically.’ There is little new here–to these ears, over these years, but rather renewal–of the alluring endlessness of the ‘vertical color of sound’ (Tamm, 1989).

Vesterhavet is available now from Tobias Hellkvist’s bandcamp.

References
Batchelor, Peter (2007) “Fabricating Aural Landscapes: Some Compositional Implications of Trompe l’Oreille“, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference (Copenhagen, Denmark, August 27-31, 2007) vol. 1, pp. 149-152.
Tamm, Eric (1989) Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound. Boston: Faber & Faber.

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