Let me pull on your coat about something – you can call it the thread of existence if you like. After we’ve learnt the physicality of living, language, social structures and the constructs that shape them, what is left? The answer for many is their early twenties, followed by the rest of their lives. If this paragraph has taught me anything, it is that deep thinking, or the entry-level version, thinking you are deep, cannot be drummed out of you.
For those who think of thinking as a pose, this album will work on that basic level – watery synth pads wash over everything on Alting Falder | Samme Rum and transform the mundane acts of everyday life into the sublime. Reading through junk-mail catalogues, picking up a tin in the supermarket, reading the ingredients, putting the tin back on the shelf… all of these acts are improved by having øjeRum playing through headphones while enacting them. Unlike post rock, which has a similar effect, there are no obvious forceful crescendos, so your acts will not gain gravitas. There will be no emotional swell to overlay meaning to your mundane motions. Instead there is a sense of the uncanny and mysterious added, an almost-but-not-quite disorientation. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, read no further. Download this album, put it on your iPod, or burn a CD-R for your Discman if you are feeling particularly arch, whip out your crushed velveteen jacket, and head out of the door. Rest assured, at some point in the future the world will destroy you – emotionally, psychically, spiritually, or physically. But at least you have a soundtrack now. Go forth.
For the uninitiated, øjeRum is the product of one person, Paw Grabowski, and he has put out a staggering amount of work on a variety of labels (A Giant Fern, Cabin Floor Esoterica, Scissor Tail Editions, Fluid Audio, Eilean Rec., Shimmering Moods Records, Champion Version, Unknown Tone Records, Phinery and Vaald). He’s finally made his way to Sound In Silence, and his music sounds like a mixture of Brian Eno and William Basinski. That is of course reductive, but as a loose approximation, a piece of musical pigeonholing, the work of Paw Grabowski is there or thereabouts.
For those who wish for more than affectation, for meaning, for understanding, the mostly long track times will give them something to mull over. The repetition of phrases within the songs are trance-inducing, with soft drones layered on top of each other, drifting in and melting away soothingly. From the first listen there is no doubt that this recording is the result of intense attention to detail in all respects. There are no desperately jarring moments, nothing that seems unintended. Atmosphere builds and develops with an organic smoothness. If there is a criticism to be made of Alting Falder | Samme Rum it is might well be a lack of scope for the work as a whole. It is magnificent, but somewhat limited in palette – a bird in flight, but not the sky itself. Perhaps that is unfair, finding fault where there is none. Or possibly it is a just a feeling that there is something grander and potentially transcendent to come from øjeRum in the future.
Alting Falder | Samme Rum is out now on Sound in Silence.