Kim Myhr & Lasse Marhaug – “On The Silver Globe”

“On The Silver Globe” borrows it’s title from the 1988 film by Polish director Andrzej Zulawski. The plot of the film is based on a distant planet – but could be read as a political allegory for the struggle against totalitarianism. The film was stopped mid-production by the state and not released for a further ten years. The 1990’s release had scenes missing – replaced by unrelated footage that was realist in nature.

Another influence on the album is Andrew Smith’s ”Moon Dust” book, which deals with how different the individual astronauts of the Apollo programme dealt with the extraordinary experience of going to the moon, and how the space program was ultimately shut down by the Nixon administration.

Myhr & Marhaug

“On The Silver Globe” is the debut album of the duo of Kim Myhr and Lasse Marhaug. The album originated as a commission from the MetaMorf art biennale in Trondheim for the two musicians to collaborate on a 8-channel piece for the 2016 edition. The morphing of Myhr and Marhaug proved to be a good match, the two had known each other for years but never worked together, and in the process of making ”On The Silver Globe” found this collaboration should be more than a one-off. After the performance of the 8-channel version the two went back into the studio to make a stereo-version of the piece, which is now being released as a CD and LP.

Both Myhr and Marhaug are apt improvisers and musicians, but ”On The Silver Globe” is, apparently, a pure studio creation. The piece is divided in five sections, and the instrumentation is of a wide range, including guitar, vintage analogue and modular synthesizers, oscillators, granular synthesis, digital processing, acoustic objects and a wide range of studio rub-a-dub trickery. The result is a powerful tapestry of sound sheets that is constantly morphing into new shapes, but also with sudden shifts in character, slowly making its way towards the inevitable conclusion, in which all cosmic matter is sucked into a black hole.

My reference point to “On The Silver Globe” was Myhr’s album “Bloom” (reviewed on Sigil Of Brass here) so I anticipated the lay of the land – but got the lay of the land acutely wrong. This is such a contrasting album to “Bloom” – where “Bloom” had Krautrock tinges and jangly progressions – “On The Silver Globe” is awash with swells of sounds that emmanate from the darkest recess of the cosmic psyche.

Without holding it up to “Bloom” – this is a dark album in it’s own right. Whether it was intended to be I do not know – but, it is 05:21 in darkest winter, I have not slept and this album scares me. You would associate the sentiment with a de Babalon release but “On The Silver Globe” sounds like I am wired in to the mainframe of an extra terrestrial flying saucer – I love it.

Released on Sofa on February 24th 2017 as LP, CD, DL.

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