CD / CD-R » Andreas Brandal – Disturbing the Dust

Andreas Brandal – Disturbing the Dust

Andreas Brandal – “Disturbing the Dust” CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions, 2011)

Label description:

For 15 years, ANDREAS BRANDAL (from Bergen, in western Norway), has been one of the most interesting and satisfying composer-performers in the drone-ambient-noise field, issuing dozens of dense, multi-textured albums that have satisfied everyone from psychedelic travellers looking for the ultimate higherkey fix to noise-hounds looking for the ultimate jackhammer-industrial-metallic-grind bliss. When we first started the music half of KSE, Brandal was one of the first artists contacted, and he graciously offered us the long-sold-out 3″ cdr MINUS. For his second KSE release, knowing of our literary orientation, Mr. Brandal composed and realized a new seven-part drone epic that’s inspired by T. S. Eliot’s FOUR QUARTETS (the one Eliot piece that is essential), the poet’s ultimate meditation on existential questions of mortality and purpose, and using a phrase from the text to label each of the seven movements here, from the initial probing of Disturbing the Dust to the depths of Empty Desolation to the disquieting, self-reflexive finale of Arriving Where We Started, Brandal takes us on a harrowing trip inside the psyche, with rare flashes of guitar, violin, and keyboard textures woven into the industrial fabric of the piece. It’s already being praised as Brandal’s most ambitious work, and we are honored that such an important piece is being issued on our label. It will be sold out in a few months, so get yours now while you can, in a hand-made, hand-numbered edition of 99 copies.


Foxy Digitalis:

Andreas Brandal, “Disturbing The Dust”
October 27, 2011
By Anthony D’Amico

I am not sure how I have managed to avoid hearing an Andreas Brandal album before now, but I am damn glad it finally happened- this was absolutely revelatory. Andreas, who is based in Norway, has been recording with a number of different aliases and collaborations since the mid-nineties, spanning harsh noise, improv, drone, blackened guitar squall, and probably a number of other niches that I am not yet aware of. Many of his releases have been extremely limited and issued on European labels or his own Twilight Luggage imprint, but in recent years he’s started to appear on some great North American labels like Stunned and Sweat Lodge Guru. This particular album (his second for KSE) was inspired by T.S. Eliot’s darkly unsettling Four Quartets, but that origin doesn’t overtly manifest itself too much aside from the song titles.

Brandal is in drone mode here and he is something of a visionary in that realm, as he seems quite unfettered by the unspoken genre constraints most other artists in that vein adhere to. In fact, Andreas seems to be operating on a plane all his own, unleashing the most active and texturally varied drone album that I have yet heard. While these seven pieces are loosely constructed upon pulsing beds of synthesizer or queasy feedback, they are in a constant state of unpredictable flux: structures appear and collapse, harsh grindings and rumbles wax and wane, and an ungodly host of unanticipated sounds drifts in and out (a tortured violin, insects, something that sounds like a sonar, a kalimba(?), etc). Equally remarkable is the fact that it all sounds extremely vibrant and clear (even at its ugliest and most gnarled). When I listened to it with headphones, it sometimes sounded like things were shuddering, rattling, and billowing inside my head. It is impossible not to admire such a masterfully constructed plunge down the rabbit hole: this is drone at its most engrossing, inventive, and hallucinatory. (9/10)

Blog To Comm:

Andreas Brandal-DISTURBING THE DUST CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions)

This Brandal feller’s a Norwegian composer who, like just about every other act to pop up on the Kendra Steiner label, dabbles in experimental soundscapading utilizing a mix of both natural and electronically-created sources. I guess his work is well-known, enough that there must be a plethora of releases under his name on a wide range of labels that cater to the new avant garde so even if you don’t know who he or or that he never even recorded for the Columbia grey label Brandal is a name that just ain’t gonna go away any day soon. Anyhow this KSE release is a decent enough sampling of his work…dunno how he exactly creates this melange of drones and clanks but it is inspiring in its own way. Reminds me of some of those late-seventies experiments I used to hear about where natural music was in fact created from various forms of modern sculpture being exposed to the elements, or at least what I envisioned the resultant music to sound like. May be too heady for you but it’s there for the taking (or at least buying).

Volcanic Tongue:

Disturbing The Dust is inspired by TS Eliot’s masterpiece Four Quartets and consists of seven movements that take their titles from it. This is dark cosmo-drone with an insanely deep depth of field, ranging from gorgeous slow-motion sunrises of high gothic keyboards through thin, singing violin lines that illuminate the cavernous arcs of celestial melody and odd shortwave/field recording constructs that combine the sounds of covert surveillance with morse code melodies. A massively ambitious set from Brandal and one you could live in for weeks. – David Keenan

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