Boomkat Product Review:
Erik Skodvin, the crown prince of nefarious Nordic doomscapes, returns with another dark ambient grimoire for the Type label. Kappe follows on from December's release of the Man Bird Dress album, and finds the Deaf Center member peering yet deeper into the sonic abyss, concentrating his efforts on four lengthy compositions, each one following its own distinct subterranean tributary. The first (with no small measure of irony, one suspects) is titled 'Tunnel Of Love', and features much rattling of chains - quite literally by the sound of things: it all starts off with a blurry swell of feedback tones and funereal howling, before eventually the chinking metallic clamour cuts through the murk, sounding like the ghost of Jacob Marley going for a jog. Groans and disfigured guitar tones jostle feverishly in the background, but it's not until 'Where Am I?' that any substantial drone developments take hold. The piece evolves from a sequence of glacial slapback-echo screeches, eventually dissipating into the background - transformed into what might pass for demonic whalesong emanating from a misty fjord. Next comes the intriguingly titled 'Candle Light Dinner Actress', the longest of the four pieces here and surely the most phantom-like of the bunch, hovering weightlessly over sixteen minutes of strained harmonics and searing overtones. As is often the case with Svarte Greiner releases, it's not always easy to tell what instruments and sound sources are being tapped for these unearthly noises, but there's surely some deconstructed electric guitar in there somewhere, and Kjetil Moster of Rune Grammofon/Load Records prog combo Ultralyd supplies some heavily cloaked saxophone tones. Wrapping up the album, 'Last Light' makes for a fittingly elegiac closing piece, populated by thick, noxious vapours, disembodied croaking noises and strings bowed so coarsely and heavily that they begin to take on a knotted, thorny quality. There's a real air of restraint about Kappe, and it's an album loaded with potential energy, always poised ambiguously between outright aural punishment and disappearing altogether down some impenetrably black chasm. A masterclass in organic, artful gloom, Kappe comes with the highest recommendation.