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Breidablik — Alduorka
(Apollon Records ARP053, 2022, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-10-02

Alduorka Cover art

Alduorka starts out with Breidablik in very much the same mode as on previous releases: well-made music in the Tangerine Dream style of the late 70s. “Alda” is a side-long track that kicks off with percolating sequences, sweeping notes from string synths, and an expansive atmosphere. During its duration, it evolves through varying sections, including a meditative spell of long chords and notes that fade in and out. Around the halfway mark, a guitar sneaks in with a simple rhythmic pattern, and eventually another guitar part plays a melody, all layered together with the pulsing synths. Turning to “side 2” we find a different sound. “Orka I” is a relatively short track that accompanies the sequences with a full band. Bass, drums, and guitar all work together with the keyboards for a fun slab of electronic rock. Breidablik originally consisted solely of Morten Birkeland Nielsen, and on Omicron (2020) Håkon Oftung of Jordsjø came on board playing guitar and flute. Now we have Trond Gjellum (Electrond) on drums, with guest V’ganðr (Ørjan Nordvik) playing bass on “Orka I.” That track is followed by a more low-key track which as far as I can tell only features keyboards. “Hraznō” bops along with a sequence and a guitar melody but no percussion. “Himinglæva ok Kolga”is constructed similarly, though with a chord progression to go along with the sequence; it has a middle section with a free feeling where sounds like Mellotron strings and flutes break up the rhythm, and finishes off with a piano sound joining in. The album closes with “Orka II,” another full band effort, though in this case with keyboards handling the bass part. The presence of drums in sequencer based music like this is reminiscent of Tangerine Dream on Cyclone, and to my mind adds an extra bit of variety to this satisfying album.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Breidablik, Electrond (Trond Gjellum)

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