Flare / Flame (2LP)
Label: Sonic Pieces
**250 copies on gold vinyl, full tone gatefold cover artwork, includes printed inner sleeves and download code** Erik K Skodvin is most known for his surreal darker compositions as Svarte Greiner or as half of the melancholic induced duo Deaf Center.
This collection of the two albums Flare and Flame marks his first musical entries under his own name, experimenting with the soundtrack based sides of Americana and Blues. While his Svarte Greiner albums might dwell on minimal atmospheric darkness, Flare / Flame are awash in their own destructive concept of light.
"Flare might be the debut album under his own name, but it is far from Erik K Skodvin's first musical endeavour. As a member of Deaf Center (along with Otto Totland) he built up a swift following of fans devoted to his precise attention to detail and knack for creating the most unassumingly beautiful tracks of gloomy soundscapes. This clearly wasn't enough though, as Skodvin dragged his sound into darker pastures, tying to it the Svarte Greiner moniker and allowing his collection of haunted sounds to cough, splutter and groan mercilessly. Flare marks a new beginning for Skodvin, and the electronic processes that have come to define his sound are now all but gone. Untreated acoustic sounds and the blankly terrifying sounds of bare rooms form the backbone of this new approach, and while Flare still bears all the fingerprints of Skodvin's patented technique, it also sounds fresh and different. At times, as the album slowly reveals itself, one could be forgiven for thinking they had discovered a chewed up cassette of Finnish forest folk- dark and grainy but also live, as if a dark ritual had been captured somewhere remote in the morning fog. Through his selection of instruments, which includes piano, cello, violin and occasionally voice, Skodvin runs through the recordings with a ghost-like touch. There is the sense that these vignettes already existed, Skodvin merely dusted them off and lit the blue touchpaper.
Flare might not have the noise, grit and dense distortion of its predecessors, but what it lacks in bone shaking volume, it makes up for in subtlety and sheer mood. Through careful use of instruments and Skodvin's unmistakable ear for silence, he has created a record as tense and unforgiving as anything in his catalogue. It just sounds a little different, and that is never a bad thing. Listen with caution…"
"The embers of Flare smolder patiently, searching to ignite the live branch that will grow into Flame. Within minutes, everything in your surroundings changes, everything you thought it would be, it is not. Building on Skodvins past palette of sound with a quiet intensity, the album moves you further along film-noir backyards and oceanside pathways. On occasion, reverberating synths and rolling percussive moments open up the melancholic drift of the otherwise fairly dusty sounding record. Whereas Flare transformed Skodvins earlier projects, its 2014 companion sustains the newfound life into quietly psychedelic forms.
Erik K Skodvin is a master of enveloping the listener into a world that is both monumental and suspenseful. Flame does so by subtly patching together musical influences from all over the map, centered around a heap of instrumentation. He is also aided by Anne Müller and Mika Posen on strings and Gareth Davis on clarinet. While his Svarte Greiner albums might dwell on minimal atmospheric darkness, Flame is awash in its own destructive concept of light."
Cat. number: SP009+020-STDX