Boomkat Product Review:
XKatedral Anthology I is the first in a series of archival releases dedicated to presenting music by XKatedral affiliated composers working within the realm of slowly evolving harmonic and timbral music. This double-vinyl set contains an array of pieces dating from 2010 - 2020. Four of the works included here were originally released on cassette tape early on in the label's history, while the two remaining pieces are presented by the label for the first time.
"The works Ir Himinn, Grooenn by Kristoffer Svensson, Disquiet (Heart) by Marta Forsberg and Lamé by Isak Edberg were first released on the compilation XKatedral Volume II in 2016. Svenssons piece from 2014 combines justly tuned gamelan percussion and prepared piano intricately interwoven in a way that obscures the boundaries between the two instrument groups. Forsberg and Edbergs pieces both use a monolithic form to explore the timbral and harmonic spaces provided by the Düben Baroque organ situated in Tyska Kyrkan in the oldest part of Stockholm. While similar in terms of instrumentation the two works differ formally - Edbergs Lamé composed in 2010 uses the registers of the organ to articulate a seamless spectral transformation while Forsbergs Disquiet (Heart) from 2014 deals in blocks of sound with a varying degree of opacity, saturation and intensity.
Glory for two electric guitars by Caterina Barbieri and Kali Malone was composed and recorded in Tempo Reale in Florence, Italy, and was originally released on the cassette compilation XKatedral Volume III in 2016. This music takes the form of an ever-evolving hypnotic pattern shared by the two instruments articulated through an additive and subtractive canon. Dissolving Ceremony, composed in 2012 by Edberg/Erlandsson/Lisinski, was first presented publicly on the self-released record Stratum. The music contained in that release was formed from a collection of gamelan percussion instruments augmented by two sets of live-electronic instruments tuned to the harmonic framework formed by the partials of the metal percussion. Originally positioned in the center of the record running order between two long monolithic process-based pieces, Dissolving Ceremony now stands on its own as a memory of a time and methodology from the not so distant past.
The newest piece in this set is Shipwrecks by Daniel M Karlsson. While this work is a recent one Karlsson should be considered one of the forerunners of the musical expression contained within this record set. Active within new music for two decades his strongly articulated musical ideas and constantly evolving craftsmanship has resulted in an enormous body of work, and has served as an inspiration for many of his fellow composers. This piece is a celebration of transposition and its immense capacity for timbral transformation using a vast array of instruments performed, recorded and electronically treated by the composer to form a liquid uncanny topography where a deeply personal harmonic language constantly shifts, slides and shivers."