brainwashed

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Demen, "Nektyr"

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Nektyr by Demen.  Vinyl LP, CD.

A few years ago we received an anonymous email with a link to three tracks and a simple message: "Hi, maybe you would be interested in this music." It’s easy to be skeptical of yet another link from yet another artist in a world overcrowded with them, but listening is our job and so we do it. The songs were instantly striking: extraordinarily slow, somber, and spacious, each vaulted cathedral chord reverberating poetically into the distance, the melodies rolling out like fog across a cemetery. Captivated, we requested more, receiving a single word in response: "Yes." Then, nothing. Eventually, three months later, we received another email with slightly more information: a name (Irma Orm), a location (Stockholm), and a bit of context (she worked alone, and progress on music was slow but steady).

Fast-forward to mid-2016: we're informed the album is complete, and it is breathtaking. Hermetic gothic swan songs conjured from funereal piano, twilit ambience, minimalist percussion, and spellbinding vocals. The mood is lulling and lush but lost in sorrow, stark grey structures looming in the night. Majestic open spaces between notes heighten the melancholic grandeur of Orm's arrangements, blurring the line between lament and lullaby. The songs less end than ebb away, succumbing to their own downcast beauty.

More information can be found here.

 


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