Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
2006 Helen Scarsdale CD
1. Svefnlaus / Sömnlös
2. Elstöt / Rafstud
3. Undir Ahrifum / Sundurlaus
4. Supbröder / Drykkjufélagar
5. Undermaskin / Töfra Maskína
6. Skuggbild / Skuggamynd
In Scandinavia, it's not uncommon to hear of someone's mother, grandfather, uncle, or plumber who drank him-or-herself to death at an early age; and the Swedish drone artist BJ Nilsen has felt the alcoholic pangs which may foreshadow his own demise. In recent years, Nilsen has turned to his Icelandic neighbors Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson (collectively known as Stilluppsteypa) in existential sympathy over the problems of their collective lust for alcohol. Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna marks the second collaborative document of abject minimalism that these three have composed; and like its predecessor Vikinga Brennivin, this album is spiked with drunken thought. Any alcohol induced euphoria has been tempered by perturbing blackouts, moments of cruelty, and an all-consuming nihilism. Beyond their shared Scandinavian heritage, their expressionist urge for the frigid drone, and their penchant for drink, BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa intend this recording as an open ended experience, wandering through their sound without the burden of any exegetical text that may get in the way.
Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna resolves itself as a grim kaleidoscope, where the bleakness of the wintry Scandinavian landscape and the langour of a drunken escapade constantly mutate through the highly refined sensibility of dronescaping. Sonar pings announce the beginning of this album, with its echoes returning as an amorphous fog and locating little but a gloomy pall upon the event horizon. Clattering electronics scurry across the barren sounds like death-watch beetles upon the tundra; and creaking doors offer something much more foreboding than what Pierre Henry envisioned for musique concrete. Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna adheres to the psychological dis-quiet through sound design that Alan Splet provided for Eraserhead or that Nurse With Wound achieved on Salt Marie Celeste. Yet for all of their tendencies for brooding and desolation, BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa retain a compulsion for a glacial beauty through their intoxicated visions of the sublime.
BJ Nilsen has released numerous records for Touch and Ash International, both under his given name and as Hazard, often focusing the sound of nature, its effect on humans, and the perception of time & space as experienced through sound. He has also previously collaborated with Christian Fennesz and Chris Watson.
Stilluppsteypa have unleashed well over a dozen releases in their tumultuous existence of electro-absurdism laced with subversion, blackhumour, and horror.
Drykkjuvisur Ohljodanna is a limited edition pressing of 1000 copies.