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  • David Bentley

Video of the week – Rural Tapes (NO): ‘Reddal’ (track from debut album)

The last time Rural Tapes (Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen) was here the track we reviewed, also called Rural Tapes, was the title track to this recently released album. The first track on Side 1 is this one, ‘Reddal’, and this is a live performance of it, from a studio, Nygrenda Vev & Dur in which he wears his best Sarah Lund sweater.

There are several good videos around this week, some of them very arty but I chose this one because it shows the musician at his craft, close up and under scrutiny. He reveals that he prefers to use analog synths and eschews pre-recorded tracks as he “wants to keep it as real as possible” including the “opportunity” to make mistakes as that is how he stays focused.

It’s a 15-minute saga, heavily ambient/drone and you’ll need 100% concentration to take it all in as he flits between a multitude of instruments as if he were one of the old prog boys, rejuvenated. You never know, the next progression might be to riding the keyboards like a bucking bronco and stabbing knives in between the keys. It has been done before, after all. And what’s that little sprocket between the keys for?

The set-up makes me think of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop where the theme tune to ‘Dr Who’ and the score for ‘Quatermass and the Pit’ were created and indeed it could be the interior of the Tardis.

It fascinates me how electronic artists make their music. At one stage it looks like he’s checking a connection, making sure it’s plugged in, but it has a distinct impact on the sound.

It’s very atmospheric at times, moody and symphonic in that it ranges over different themes. There is no beginning, middle and end but there never is in this variety of music. It’s simply music to chill to.

On pain of repeating myself Norway is full to the brim with experimentalists like this right now. Another video I could have opted for is a classy piece of work from Kate Havnevik in support of her song we reviewed a few weeks ago, ‘Into Dark’, while Øystein Skar, who was here earlier this week, performed his first solo set at the weekend at an open air amphitheatre with dancers and someone doing live drawings to the music.

There really should be a collective of these people because trading off each other’s energy they could easily come up with something truly startling.

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