Boomkat Product Review:
Cult Swedish ambient noise avatar Civilistjävel! pushes off the first release on Felt, the promising new label run by Perko, with one of their most opiated and sublimely chilling episodes.
Depending who you asks, Civilistjävel! is either “a figment of the pre-internet era tapping into a similar consciousness as Biosphere, Chain Reaction or early Fax +49-69/450464” or an apocryphal exercise in ambient hauntology, but either way their music feeds into a palpable need for enigma in modern music. ‘Järnnätter’ is their 7th release since appearing outta nowhere in 2018 via Low Company, and adds fine new layers of natural world inspiration and jazzy intrigue to their personalised dream sequence that effortlessly allows you to suspend disbelief for the duration and buy into their ruse-not-ruse.
For ‘Järnnätter’, Civilistjävel! take their cues from the Swedish expression “Iron Night”, traditionally used to describe long winter nights when the frost withers plants and crops. Under this poetically evocative phrase the music manifests an uncannily absorbing ecology of glacial, cracked rhythms and plangent nocturnal pads that, if you squint your ears a bit, comes to limn spirited soundscapes where the sun hardly rises and you can practically feel the frost crystallising on yr whiskers and eyelids. We’ve little doubt that it’s some of the project’s finest work, tapping into an atavistic ambient sensibility comparable with contemporary visionaries ranging from Wanda Group to Werkbund, Mika Vainio and even CC Hennix on their trip from the zonked sublime of ‘A1’ to the nithered nub of ‘B2’ and ultimately the bad belly jazz groan of ‘B4’.
Proper intrigue and stuff.