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jasper tx - Singing Stones
Very much a talent on the ascendence, Dag Rosenqvist returns with a swift follow-up to last year's Closet Ghosts EP, and the full-length on Miasmah, Black Sleep. While those two releases marked out career highpoints for Rosenqviist, Singing Stones finds him continuing on his upward trajectory, serving up a truly beautiful - not to mention accessible - collection of cinematic electronic compositions. You won't hear many artists who are this adept when it comes to wringing emotion from their laptops, and introductory track 'Stillness' provides an instantly breathtaking blend of lyrical digital timbres and immersive field recordings; you'll hear footsteps trudging across muddy ground and far off bells pealing out in the distance - it's lovely stuff. Next comes the exquisitely subtle 'This Barren Land', an electroacoustic drone piece that doesn't initially seem to be doing anything that's especially out of the ordinary, but the subtlety and depth of the piece ensures it worms its way into your heart. Now the tone is set, Rosenqvist opens up with some melodic developments, bringing delicate tuned percussion and filtered guitar progressions to 'They've Flown Away And Left Us Here', while 'Last Boat In' brings together fluttering vibraphone melodies and crashing waves on a beach. The set-adrift feel persists throughout, as cued by titles like 'A Box Of Wood In The Storm', 'Into The Sea' and 'Sleeping Rivers', the latter of which cultivates an Oren Ambarchi-like low-end drone, while flickers of hiss bombard slow-swelling chords. Singing Stones is an exceptional album, artfully constructed and sequenced in a way that preserves its enigmatic feel, continually shifting between coy tunefulness and glorious abstraction. Superb.