Sverre Knut Johansen — Distant Shore
(Origo Sound OCD 9311, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and composer Johansen builds lush symphonic soundscapes of the highest order, rich in melodics, well developed and skillfully arranged. There is an ever-changing quality about the music on Distant Shore, themes are in constant redevelopment, nothing repeats, which keeps the music interesting, yet there are no sharp edges — it all flows together too smoothly, creating an illusion of lethargy. The arrangements — mostly synthesizers, sequencers and an occasional outburst of soaring pyrotechnic guitar (or introspective soprano sax), go far to reinforce all these first impressions. But first impressions can be deceiving. Under the surface is a cauldron of melodic energy and subtle rhythmic intensity. The only flaw here is the poppy "Eruption" with those damned drum machines — a song that tends to spoil the continuum of this otherwise brilliant album. It took this writer several listens to cut through the smooth synthetic surface, but — like Kit Watkins' Azure, there is far more going on here than meets the ear at first listen.
Related artist(s): Sverre Knut Johansen
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more