Tapes » Andreas Brandal – Murmurs and Echoes

Andreas Brandal – Murmurs and Echoes

Andreas Brandal – “Murmurs and Echoes” Tape (Field Hymns, 2015)


Beach Sloth:

Andreas Brandal – Murmurs and Echoes

Naturalistic in tone, Andreas Brandal amplifies the sounds that surround on “Murmurs and Echoes”. The pieces radiate with low-key energy. Elements of the songs come together effortlessly as if they were always there. A sense of permanence defines the pieces. Clever arrangements bring together parts of Post-Rock, drone, ambience, field recordings and found sound. Resulting from these interesting experiments are songs that teem with life. Sprawling out into the sunset these are songs that explore concepts of decay.

Starting off with a static sample “Restoring Darkness” opens the album off on a heavy lonesome note. More hopeful in tone is “The Factories Divine” whose tactile percussion works wonders giving the song an approachable feeling to it. Both expansive and expressive is the creaking movement of “Within Ashes And Fire” whose slow deliberate work rewards patience with glimmering looks at entirely new lands. Strangely poppy is the sunlit work of “The Day Erased” by far the highlight of the album. Ending things on a tender note is the carefree guitar and keyboard work which weave together to create a calm stream of sound.

Built into the structure of Andreas Brandal’s “Murmurs and Echoes” is a dramatic sensibility, the Spaghetti Western sparseness. This is what gives the album its tremendous power. For giving the songs room to roam the songs are able to take on a greater variety of colors.


Ad Hoc:

Andreas Brandal: Murmurs and Echos (Field Hymns)

The opening ringing of electric organ feels like the beginnings of a 1970’s Norwegian video on bike safety. The growing cello and violin like sounds hint towards a deeper undercurrent of dark forces; resonant filter sweeps bursting along the crest of sweeping crescendos. Andreas Brandal’s “Murmurs and Echoes” is an intriguing blend of many influences: prog, krautrock, ambient, western, gothic, traditional folk, with touches of Gregorian chant influenced vocals mixed in. All of that with interwoven patches of field recording samples, archival news footage, blasts of textured noise, and sections of thoughtful drone. It’s a lot to take in at once but it’s utterly impossible to turn away. The craftsmanship of the instrumentation is excellent: glass shards form the backbone for a percussion line, clear strings distort under the weight of intense filter cutoff, wailing theremin. The atmosphere here is well defined and yet still undefinable. One of the years’ best.


Guide Me Little Tape:

Andreas Brandal – Murmurs and Echoes
September 4, 2015

Lush soundtrack esq space folk from Norwegian artist Andreas Brandal with Murmurs and Echoes on Field Hymns. This one is a slow burner, mature, ominous. A mix of elements so deftly crafted you’ll hardly realize just how disparate they are. Subtle, patient melodies constructed of interwoven strings and key. A foreground of immediate but purposefully selected guitar against a background a clattering percussion. The soundscape strewn with bits of electronic bleep gently giving way to unexpectedly majestic synth overture. Beautifully mixed, completely wide open, I’m gonna say this is the most perfectly balanced recording I’ve heard since… well the last Brandal tape on Field Hymns (this one). An absolutely next level score for contemplating our imminent ruin and ultimate rebirth.


Nordic Spotlight:

Though you can hear touches of his former life throughout this new cassette/digital release, Andreas Brandal is continuing to move beyond his days as a noise/drone artist with Murmurs and Echoes. The bombast has been replaced with stately productions and inviting melodies that waft into your field of vision like a slow-moving fog. Let Undertone of Rivers, a track from this new album, quietly burble in the background of your day, but be prepared: any fugue states or feelings of intoxication that may come as a result are not our fault. (Robert Ham)


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