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Skare – Solstice City

[CD, Glacial Movements]

“Solstice City” is the debut release by the Swedish duo of Mathias Josefson and Per Ahlund as atmospheric ambient project Skare. The concept behind the album is that it follows a journey from the city to the point where it meets nature. Starting with the short prelude of “To The Other Shore” where the journey begins by boarding a ship to a distant yet unknown destination, the duo use field recordings, found sounds and treated instruments to bring an element of realism and intimacy to their recordings, heightening the experience. The 21 minute “Through Wind And Broken Ice” depicts the long slow journey through a frozen wasteland, accurately portraying the unforgiving windswept landscape and the difficult conditions it can bring. The mood of the music slowly changes as the track progresses, shifting from gentle melodic ambience through darker more foreboding interludes. Finally, we reach “The Snow Angel Factory” which is our intended destination, a place deep in the frozen landscape where angels are made. Again illustrating a combination of a frozen windswept landscape and mixed modes of travel, the duo illustrate the distance and effort taken to reach their mythical destination whilst also bringing a sense beauty and wonderment for their surroundings. In one respect it is unforgiving and harsh but in others it is beautiful and magical, as is the angel factory when it is finally revealed in its ethereal beauty. Then, just as it is glowing resplendent in the snow covered glacial ice, the mood darkens to close on a darkly ominous and sinister tone followed by gently reflective piano backed with the voices of a family and running water. Glacial Movements again keep a watchful eye on quality and offer another outstanding album of intensely emotive ambience.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Published on Side-line [14th April 2009].

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