BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna
CD HMS 008

Signal To Noise
by Andrew Choate
Issue 45, Spring 2007

Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna,
the second collaboration between Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa, focuses upon the Scandinavian inhertitance of alcoholism and the penchant for drunkenness. Surprisingly, the music meets the concept head on, conjuring a subterranean world of hazy beeps that gauge and evoke distance through a thick fog. These signals on the first track, "Svefnlaus / Sömnlös," localize the listener with the target zone. While the overall contour of the album flows cleanly, tracks often drift off into very quiet patches that last several minuts at a time: it's like trudging in heavy water up to your nipples. There's a big mechanic whirr that begins a couple of tracks by digitally spiralling away from audibility, and lots of hums pepper the whole thing: some quiet, some mean, some crinkling. The rare intrusion of earthbound sounds likle doorslams and electric shaver buzzes are filtered through and surrounded by so much muffling that a hypnotic density forms. An arresting, successful exploration of alcohol's sonics.