Published May 21, 2013
Beneath the Norwegian black metal font and gray glacial formations on its cover, listeners will unexpectedly find some of the warmest and most redemptive music produced in recent memory. Úlfur Hansson’s solo debut ‘White Mountain’ has been available in Japan for a year, but 2013 heralds its official release to a wider audience via Western Vinyl.
Úlfur has forged this record from gentle synths and a collection of personal field recordings. The project has a strong gravitational pull toward the music coming from the “cassette label Renaissance” happening in the United States right now. Its brief, meditative pieces, rich analog timbres, and ambient/environmental samples blend to convey a little biological warmth amidst soundscapes made mostly from machines. A short album, only slightly too long for a C-30 cassette, ‘White Mountain’ would sit comfortably within the discographies of labels like Field Hymns or Tranquility tapes.
As it aspires toward such deeply personal spaces, ‘White Mountain’ sometimes feels a touch too intimate, its secrets kept just out of reach from more universal appeal. But it continues to open up with repeated listening. As a debut, it initiates a thoughtful conversation that hopefully perseveres into future recordings.
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