Behind the name Elektronavn operates Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Magnus Olsen Majmon, a bit of a mystery as far as an artistic “career” is concerned but positively gifted with a sort of rustic imagination that comes very welcome in these times of unjustified posturing. A good while ago, this writer had been impressed by a great piece in a compilation; this led me to contact Magnus who, in turn, was so gentle to send a couple of works from his archive. Yet only today (sorry) I am finally enjoying Quantum Vacuum, an album full of interesting ideas, strange concoctions of urban found sounds, quacking ducks, “normal” melodies, droning loops generated by exotic flutes and a lot more, which I’ll leave the interested listeners to discover.
There are some points that need to be highlighted. One is the lo-fi quality of the whole enterprise, not a problem at all despite the unbelievable level of distortion generated by certain sections where live tapes – processed or less – are utilized (“Ecstatic Ghost Suite” in particular). Another charming feature is the rejuvenated portrait of a connecting industrial tribalism that rewinds the tape of my memory to the end of the 80s, era in which yours truly was heavily into realities such as Vasilisk, Het Zweet and SPK (not to mention early Zoviet France). Listening to the reiterative rhythms and unsettling vocalizations of a track like “Daf Trance Area” literally caused flashbacks, and it was a pleasant feeling. Ultimately, a profound sense of honesty and, if you will, candour is perceived throughout, a breath of fresh air indeed.
Spinning this record for the third time – right now – adds peculiar facets; even the parts that were tentatively classified as inferior on a first try disclose dissimilar meanings. An unsophisticated talent who I strongly recommend to check carefully rather than idolizing the two-chord laments of “fake-poverty-to-genuine-stardom” ephebic acoustic doodlers, or totally incompetent pubescent geeks officially publicized as the best thing after American beer. Elektronavn tries to dig deep with reduced means, mostly succeeding.