Wow, we're getting old. Our favorite Norwegian electronic/jazz/WTF improvising unit, Supersilent, are already up to number 9 in their discography! Almost into double digits. (Of course, that's not nearly as prolific as some bands, imagine if Circle, Nadja, or good grief Acid Mothers Temple numbered their releases. you'd never be able to recall which one was which, that's for sure. But, hey, you would at least know what order they came in... c'mon AMT fans, do you remember if Ominous From The Cosmic Inferno predated Iao Chant From The Cosmic Inferno, or maybe it was Journey Into The Cosmic Inferno that came first? And where do Demons From Nipples and Crystal Rainbow Pyramid Under The Stars fit in, chronologically? Not that you really need to know either. Ok, enough with that digression...)
So, what's Supersilent all about this time? As usual, the lack of titles and artwork don't give a lot to go on. The Kim Hiorthoy designed digipak is a bright sort of blue this time, for what that's worth (being about the only design decision Hiorthoy has to make for each otherwise identically generic looking Supersilent release, probably a lot of thought goes into the color choice). Well it turns out that Supersilent 9 is one of their more atmospheric, almost ambient efforts, with band member / producer Deathprod's aesthetic to the fore. There's four tracks, none of 'em short, ranging from 11:43, to the longest at 14:32... plenty of time for the listener to get lost in their carefully improvised, mostly quiet and slowly unfolding soundworlds... Arve Henriksen's breathy trumpet is ultra muted, really we're not sure if we are hearing it or not, and in terms of percussion, Supersilent 9 is entirely without the quirky rhythmic elements that characterized their chaotically skittery debut Supersilent 1-3 or the almost Autechre-ish glitchery of Supersilent 4. Instead, this, when rhythmic at all, evinces more of slow sawing whirr or thick throb, as on the droning and kinda doomy second track (the loudest one here as well), which pulses with shuddering distortion and has a bit of an atonal 20th century classical vibe to it. The tracks on Supersilent 9 are also more "of a piece", not as eclectic as on 6 or 8... There's certainly variation but it's constrained, the group taking a "less is more", minimalistic approach to this disc. The surprise vocals and psych-rock moves of Supersilent 8 are nowhere to be found this time 'round. Instead this hews closest to the glacial bliss of Supersilent 5, if we recall correctly, but in even more of an abstract manner. In parts, this comes quite close to literally living up to the band name. Dreamy and drifty, this is. And so very nice.
What we've since learned about the (even by Supersilent standards) unusual nature of this disc is that their drummer quit the band right before they recorded this... and the remaining three members all decided to play Hammond organ exclusively for this session! Not that you'd guess that's all you were hearing. Ultimately, another very satisfying release from this unique outfit! Leaving us curious about what direction they'll take in the future, when it's time for number 10.(Aquarius)