Boomkat Product Review:
*Try and imagine the kind of broken drones and edgy experimentation Ben Frost makes crossed with the strings of Hildur Gudnadottir and the sea shanties of Matt Elliott and you'll get some ideas of the incredible, deeply original music of Myrmyr* This Oakland duo brings together Agnes Szelag with Marielle Jakobsons (aka Darwinsbitch) for a debut album consisting of incredible modified sea shanties, cinematic-style ensemble pieces and folk/drone hybrids that have just blown our minds. 'Jurata' opens the album with a suspenseful opacity, loaded with string and harmonium drones while vocals drift along in a ghostly, haunting fashion. Somewhere in the background percussion jostles, occasionally sounding like faulty central heating, and ultimately making a seamless transition into 'Baltic WInds', whose fractured bowed tones make for a semi-conscious soundscape while electro-static, processed bells clang and cascade around the edges. 'First Seed' is a far more clear-cut affair, concentrating on the tightly orchestrated confluence of cello, clarinet, flute and trombone for a deep and cinematic piece of music. From here on the sophistication and depth of variation in this music only seems to heighten: 'Egle's Escape' presents a dark avant-folk universe (bringing to mind Mi & L'au, Pantaleimon and Espers all at once), while the string melodies and wonderful, thorny harp textures of 'Dancing In Captivity' suggest a kind of gothic avant-garde. Perhaps best of all, at the centre of this album lies 'The Sea Returns', a radiant fifteen minute composition that starts out as a tentative ambient excursion - full of lulling drones and fragmented instrumental eruptions - only to seemingly wake up after a few minutes of languid swirling, eventually developing into a complex soundscape full of euphoric dissonance, spurts of noise and plenty of harmonic flair. There's a tremendous amount to take in here and you won't be able to absorb even half of this album upon first listen, but in terms of its vision, and the roving musical dexterity on show throughout, it's one of the most unique and absorbing albums we've heard this year. Essential Purchase.
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