Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
2008 Helen Scarsdale CD
1. Scandinavian Tourist
The first chapter found the drink.
The second came after a night of intoxicated shouting.
The third chapter is inevitable: Passing Out.
The Nordic sound artists BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa have authored the last component to a trilogy of isolationist compositions for barren field recordings and lumbering electric drones, thematically linked in the psychotropic effects of alcohol. In doing so, they have issued a brief statement in defense of their research: "It's been four years and three studies, Passing Out being the final. Even in its most general, colloquial usage, Passing Out indicates the occurrence of a state that is incompatible with active behavior. It is possible that the individual could experience both consciousness and unconsciousness at the same time while encountering Passing Out."
Yes, Passing Out is a crepuscular recording, with the flickering of twilight further dimmed by the distant Arctic sun in wintertime and the blackened numbness of too much drink. With one singular track that spans 60 minutes, a nearly constant thrum and rumble of monochromatic low frequencies casts a grim pall upon the precisely dialed-in modulations and vibrations. Spectral guitars, maudlin tunes from haunted radios, angrily growling voices, and field recordings of wind-whipped snow and ice bury themselves deep amidst these subharmonic drones. All of these tease at the edge of perception, sculpting the narrative of the drone into a vehicle for unhinged expressionism of varying degrees of horror, melancholy, beauty, and oblivion.
The Swedish born BJ Nilsen defines his work as "focused upon the sound of nature and its effects on humans, and the perception of time and space as experienced through sound." He has numerous recordings on Touch and has collaborated with the likes of Chris Watson, Christian Fennesz, and Z'ev. The Icelandic citizens Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and Helgi Thorsson are Stilluppsteypa, whose electronic abstractions engage absurd theatrics that mar the pristine surface of minimalism.
Limited to1000 copies, with variable covers.