Boomkat Product Review:
Half of Deaf Center, all of Svarte Greiner, and boss of the Miasmah label, Erik K Skodvin has long flirted with cinematic sounds and now he's turned in his first solo film score - a chilling, drone-heavy accompaniment to Mo Scarpelli's Ethiopa-set "Anbessa".
Erik K Skodvin was probably always meant to make film scores. Since Deaf Center's 2004 debut EP "Neon City", the Norwegian producer has been taking influence from composers like Angelo Badalementi, Clint Mansell and Cliff Martinez and juxtaposing these cinematic elements with the kind of low-end drones fellow Norseman Deathprod made his calling card. Skodvin's solo material as Svarte Greiner was doomier still, hinting at noise and metal but never losing the magical glow of the silver screen.
Now, Skodvin has turned in his first solo score for American director Mo Scarpelli's "Anbessa", a documentary feature set in Ethiopia, about a young boy whose family are displaced from their agricultural community as Addis Ababa becomes quickly urbanized - and gentrified. Skodvin's treatment won't initially surprise fans of his Svarte Greiner or Deaf Center material - those calling-card shadowy, wavering guitar drones and melancholy strings are all present - but the scope, sound and additional elements in the material make this a very different kind of record.
Recordings from the movie are folded into Skodvin's music, like distant animal sounds or children talking, giving the record a narrative quality even without the visuals. Eventually percussive elements are introduced: sparse, clattering sounds on the terrifying 'Dream of Becoming an Animal' and bass-heavy East African percussion on the title track. It's not a fusion we expected, but it works. Brilliant stuff.