BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
Release Date: September 26, 2006
Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $10.00
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.Drykkjuvísur Óhljódanna 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.
Drykkjuvísur Óhljódanna 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.Drykkjuvísur Óhljódanna 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
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.