Boomkat Product Review:
Original isolationist Lasse Marhaug assumes his natural disposition in an incredible, dread-filled snapshot of life recorded April 1st and dialled in from Oslo for our Documenting Sound series.
A behemoth in the Norwegian Metal, noise, jazz, electronic and experimental scenes for nearly 30 years, Marhaug is something of a polymath - appearing and collaborating with countless artists (Sunn O))), Carlos Giffoni, Merzbow, Maja Ratkje, John Wiese and many, many others), he’s a highly sought-after producer with credits on records by Jenny Hval, Hilary Woods and Okkyung Lee, as well as a photographer, visual artist, writer, magazine publisher - basically he’s done - and is doing - it all.
Lasse was born and raised above the Arctic Circle and made his name up there via the international mail-order scene before moving to Oslo, so he clearly knows a thing or two about life communicating from under virtual lockdown or isolation. His tape here documents an hour of music recorded on April 1st 2020 (and later deftly edited) that provides a glimpse of just how deep his talent runs, using a stripped down set-up of guitar, turntable and synths in much the same grizzled and intuitive way that’s practically unchanged from his formative, teen-aged days in the cold, cold north.
Lasse’s free-ranging taste for raw, crumbling noise textures and scowling drone scuzz is in strong effect on four skull scraping and apocalypse-baiting works. Whether describing huge glacial events and a lack of Vitamin D in the noisy transition of ‘Exiles’, or more sensitively evoking a sense of ambient sehsucht recalling Kevin Drumm’s classic ‘Imperial Distortion’ on ‘Family', or plainly baiting the apocalypse with the magisterial string drones of ‘Perfect Places’, Lasse’s music conjures scowling moods that enact a solidarity for outsiders as much as a frank admission that life’s always been a bit crushing, and we just have to get on with it.