Boomkat Product Review:
Swedish violinist and composer Pauline Hogstrand looks to Lapland on her sophomore album, using strings, woodwind, field recordings and various analog and digital synthesizers to create mystical electro-acoustic drones that acknowledge the overwhelming power of nature.
Warm Winters continues its recent tear with this curious, magical set that deftly captures the harsh but picturesque beauty of Lapland's queen mountain. Called Áhkká (the old lady) in the Lule Sámi language, it's fascinated the Denmark-based musician for years as she's watched its nature shift and evolve. Her treatment attempts to capture the awe she's experienced, with the first side-long piece 'Herein' mimicking the perilous upwards climb, and the flip 'Magnitude' providing the beautiful descent.
Hogstrand trained as a viola player, and has since performed in various ensembles, studying electro-acoustic composition at the Malmö Academy of Music to further her technique. This experience provided the fuel for her 2020 debut 'The Enterer', and 'Áhkká' is even more developed, shimmering her strings into haunted vapors and obscured harmonies with bursts of noise and abstracted environmental sounds. Hogstrand's orchestral elements are never too far from the surface, but her electronic processes are just as crucial; on 'Herein' she ratchets up the tension with elongated, dew-pocked drones that dip in-and-out of dissonance.
'Magnitude' comes as a breath of euphoric relief, developing meticulously from gloomy dark ambience to relatively balmy celestial tones that sound like an exhalation. There's a triumphant quality as the muddle of synths, strings and processed field recordings shimmer into euphoria, capturing the sensation of passing through nature at its own pace, strapped to its undulating rhythm.