Sverre Knut Johansen: Dreams Beyond (Spotted Peccary, 2020)

January 27, 2021 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sverre Knut Johansen: Dreams Beyond

Norwegian composer Sverre Knut Johansen produces rich, expansive soundscapes typically exploring topics such as deep space and extraterrestrial life. This one seems to be about the more fantastic aspects of nature, and how it shapes our dreams. The synths imitate bird cries and synthesize the feeling of flying over lush forests and between snowy mountaintops, also simulated by the soaring guitars. The beats are generally downtempo, but the music is in no way sluggish; tracks like “Skylight” feel like rushing over a landscape and you can’t catch all the details at once. “Dawn” is shorter and beatless, and mixes analog chirps with synthetic sunbursts. “Tatra Mountains” is another majestic flight over a grand range. “Causeway” actually does have some sludgier beats and textures, especially towards the end. “Human Connection” features cellist Henrik Silfverhielm, and feels closer to music for an Olympic procession. Still, there’s enough synth roughness and strange textures to keep this from sounding too clean and polite.

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