Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bjerga / Iversen - Magnetic Colours of the Electric Rainbow (Stunned Records CD-R)

The duo of Sindre Bjerga and Jan-Morten Iversen have been at it for a few years now, constantly touring and releasing their own brand of sizzled noisescapes as they further hone their distinct version of fried. Here, the duo team up with Stunned, laying down one half hour-plus track originally performed at La Generale in paris by Radio WNE. Meaning that this is not only a major performance from the two, but an excellently sounding one, perfect for sound artists engaging in this level of detail.

Of course the detail is not without its more obvious moments either. Always intricate, Bjerga/Iversen never get so minute with their work as to render it unaffective. Rather, they seem to work within the realms afforded them by thick electronic blitzes of sound. Starting slowly, the duo move toward a static, grating run that sounds like a wireless radio signal in a blizzard, totally warped stuff. Lately the National Geographic channel at my house has been layered with noise, so you get these broad sweeping shots of safari accompanied by disrupted signal. Reminds me of this a little, like the source material is totally straight forward but the result is whacked out a good ways. Eventually the thing gains some momentum, using a repeating bassy mutter to give some guidance to the sparkling hiss below. But still, the piece is always firmly grounded in the weird, more concerned with wrenching varieties out of their seemingly limited set-up than moving toward some horizontally situated goal line.

Taking tea-kettle hiss and dirtied scrape and blending it into a kind of hypnotizing mantra works fine, but the duo are equally adept at totally losing it, allowing the static lines to slither about. real disconnected, let the machines do the talking stuff here, right up my alley in terms of fried levels. Pretty unrelenting really, just keeps peetering along, sometimes with weird melodies buried six feet beneath the fuzz and sometimes leaving you out on a limb totally, letting you dabble in sudden pitch shifts and hollow hums. Really a signature sound from these two, and they have such a grasp on it it's pretty tough to argue with. Another stunner from Stunned, fittingly.

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