svarte greiner - penpals forever (and ever)

  • Cat No : digi056cd
  • Label : Digitalis
Compact Disc


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The first side (first two tracks) were originally issued on the Penpals Forever cassette on Digitalis in 2008, limited to 180 copies. Both tracks have been completely remastered. The remaining pieces are all new and exclusive to this release. Svarte Greiner is the nom de plume of Deaf Center's Erik K. Skodvin. Hailing from Norway, his solo efforts are always stripped bare, white-knuckle sojourns through dark, haunted ambient sonic corridors. Penpals Forever (And Ever) is the imaginary tale of a long dead Baroque painter and his telekinetic correspondence with a flightless bird. It feels archaic; experimental death marches circa 1622. Like Guercino's Et in Arcadia ego, once the end is realized, there's nowhere left to go. It's beyond our experience and sometimes you never recover from the shock. Despite its rather cheery title, Penpals Forever (And Ever) is another step toward the abyss. Musically sparse, Svarte Greiner finds new channels connecting desolate landscapes through ethereal nightmares. It is music best served cold. Chattering, looping guitar lines that feel like muscle being separated from bone slowly build into aching piles of aural dissonance. It's painful to a point. Recorded voices speak a language you can't understand underneath ominous, echoing single notes. Distant metal fragments scrape the dirt from detuned strings while a nefarious feathered minstrel bows dying instruments in the background. No hope left, death is just around the corner. As it ever was, Svarte Greiner is again weaving something deliciously sinister. This is music that is uncomfortably bare. Within its blood-stained confines, there is nowhere to hide. Skodvin's tangled, gnarled tale goes back and forth into infinity until it becomes clear that the flightless bird in question lives inside your skull. Drowning slowly into one's own twisted mind, Penpals is the soundtrack of loss; the procession of fears gradually becoming so overbearing that you can't escape your own demons.

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