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Arin Aksberg — It Flows Between Us
(Projekt no#, 2023, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-05-21

It Flows Between Us Cover art

Arin Aksberg is a Norwegian composer and multi-instrumemtalist from Alta; that’s in the extreme north of the country, even further north than Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle, where for three months out of the year the sun barely peeks over the horizon and the aurora borealis probably offers the 21,000 residents more light on most days. That it is so far north and relatively isolated probably has a good deal to do with the nature of the music here on It Flows Between Us, Aksberg’s first release, where introspective minimalist piano shares a space with reflective ambient pieces, often together, with hints of experimentalism and dreamlike surrealism. While the details of the instrumentation that Aksberg uses to create the album’s ten pieces are not given, one can hear piano, analog and digital synths, acoustic and electric guitars, perhaps bass, and various field recordings from time to time, though the guitars are rarely played conventionally, with “12” being a notable exception where an acoustic guitar offers a simple backdrop for synthesized mallets, piano, and other sounds, at a gently moving forward pace with plenty of studio reverb and effects. The opening piece, “Virtuality,” offers something of a simple neo-classical based piano melody that wanders freely, later joined by synths, all swimming in a heady brew of studio treatments. “Airportwait,” that follows the opener, is driven by an even more gentle piano figure inside a denser shell of electronics with some curious found sounds triggering in the background, seemingly very Eno-esque, while its follow-on, “At Breakneck Speed,” is anything but, slowly emerging from some shimmering space, with only very muted melodic hints within the shards of glissando guitar. Many of the pieces here, like the title track, have a somewhat experimental floating ambient feeling, with some seemingly imagined melodic fragments and textures that peek out through the curtain at various times, like the aurora shimmering under the starlit night. The longest track at eleven-plus minutes, “Never Ending Journey” is an ongoing evolution of sorts, always moving and shifting through an ever-changing labyrinth of soundtrack-like textures.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Arin Aksberg

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