Rivers & Poems Album Review
A collaboration between Frosti Jónsson and Japanese ambient drone artist Nobuto Suda, this four-and-a-half track suite falls deeply into the territory of epictronica. It all begins with the water-trickling, expanding pad sounds of “Flumine,” the music yawning awake as a brand new day dawns with a swelling delicacy and heartbeat. “Blue Sky So Beautiful” follows, with its saw-tooth distortions, Ultravox-y rhythms and beckoning sub-bass; the sound of 4am in the chillout tent. “River Never Ends” melds some half-heard vocal samples with ethereal vox, tinkling chimes and half-arpeggios, drawing the listener deep inside the speakers as melodies and layers play around and about the stereo field and the song again rises in crescendo before a diminuendo toward a snow-tread ending.
“Poems In The Sand” is as beautiful as the title; the gorgeousness is in the transience, a slow-building piece of music that has a hint of the 1980s about it. The experience comes to a much more ambient end with the ambitious “Glacier,” which draws on the elements that preceded it to create a soundscape rich with the smooth surfaces of drawnout, undulating chords and strewn with jagged-edged darting rhythms.
Some records are like short story collections, with tracks linked by virtue only of a common author or style. This record is like a novel, which is not complete til the last page of the last song, the last fade of the dying chords a full stop that leaves a silence of absence, having wiped the world away.