Boomkat Product Review:
Inspired by Daniel Lanois, Ry Cooder's 'Paris Texas' score and Morton Feldman, Emil Palme's latest finds the Danish guitarist using homemade stone bows to scratch his strings and bring out unusual resonances.
It's hard to make solo guitar sound particularly unique at this stage, but Palme tries his damndest on 'Ripen', using unusual performance techniques and meshing composition with improvisation. His practice is rooted in Scandinavian folklore and experimental music, so while the material shimmers with familiarity from its instrumentation, the structure is more expressive and impressionistic. And while he cites Ry Cooder's 'Paris Texas' as an influence, there's more going on here than you might expect. His string tones bend in unfamiliar ways; he's not using a regular slide, and you can immediately hear the similarities between his playing and the sound of Scandinavian folk music, where the tuning was less tempered.
Lanois' influence weighs heavier on Palme's productions, and there's a similar level of sublime ambience. We could also compare it with Harold Budd, not in sound particularly but certainly in philosophy. Palme's laser-sharp focus on the guitar is refreshing, and his dextrous, unusual playing keeps our ears engaged throughout.