Bedroom Community

Press Reviews for Ekvílibríum

It may be quite hard to see the thread yoking together this seemingly random list of albums (other than that they are all very much approved round my way): Bjork’s Vespertine, Coco Rosie’s Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, Bonnie Prince Billy’s The Letting Go, and Nico Muhly’s Speaks Volumes.  The thread is silken, and visible only when the light hits at the right angle; it is manufactured by the polymathematical (producer, engineer, instrumentalist, label boss; tilting at Jim O’Rourke’s all-comers title perhaps) and quite probably multi-legged producer Valgeir Sigurdsson.  You can hear various elements of this record haberdashery on Ekvilbrium, including the crystalline crunch of Vespertine’s electronics, Will Oldham’s gritty-yet-tender croon, and Muhly’s piano and orchestral flourish.

Ekvilibrium hangs together with classy electronic pop glue, but has enough substance to ensnare the less casual listener.  Listen deeply to the precise programming under Oldham’s lovely vocals on “Evolution of Waters” as it rises to menace the storm drains, or the dramatic orchestration couching Dawn McCarthy’s jaw-dropping vocals on “Winter Sleep”.  Wonder as I did at the prepared piano and pitter-pat patterns of “Focal Point”, an electronics-and-strings instrumental so good I feel like I’ve been humming it for years (seriously, has this been on an advert or something?).  Follow dizzily the brilliant run of tracks which spiral out to the edge of this web: “Equilibrium Is Restored” rises sleepily from Miasmah-like rattle towards the chamber flourish of “Before Nine”; “Kin” sees one of Will Oldham’s best vocals caught between swooning orchestral reverie and encroaching nightmare; and the piano ruminations of “Lungs, For Merrilee” which build to and through oscillations vaguely akin to the title track of (Sigurdsson’s labelmate) Ben Frost’s Theory of Machines, before ascending skyward at the last.

Sigurdsson’s magic is in the instinctive weaving together of all of this musical gossamer to create a new work of beauty.  If the wind blows the right way, getting caught in this may be inevitable.  Don’t say you weren’t warned…

Ekvilibrium is available in September.  You can order it from Boomkat.

Mapsadaisical (August 24th 2007)

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