Plenty of musicians use albums to carve new soundscapes. They are less preoccupied by the journey it takes to get there. Rural Tapes, the self-titled project of producer and multi-instrumentalist Arne Kjelsrud-Mathisen, is an odyssey in eight wonderful songs.
Stifled by the traffic and distractions of Olso, Kjelsrud-Mathisen decamped to the Norwegian countryside, where he immediately began experimenting. The cosmic sounds of Krautrock inform songs such as “Harmony”, in which a lone synth glides through space debris surrounded by fizzing percussion and strange, alien calls.
The piano composition “Opus 13” opens with the ghost of grandeur: an out-of-tune grand piano played in (what sounds like) an empty ballroom. Then, slowly, it seems to return to its former glory: a stately, poetic étude warmed by Italianate romance.
Rural Tapes delights in the unexpected. At every turn, you encounter something new, something to be marvelled over. Kjelsrud-Mathisen has said he wants this music to stand the test of time. It will.
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