Situations where supposedly disconnected events set in motion repercussions of variable nature are always encouraging. For some reason, among sound researchers this happens quite often. I won’t tell you in detail how this release by Swedish Erik Levander – unknown to me so far – influenced my recent actions, except that unthinkable simultaneities led yours truly to swap several personal memories with Glacial Movements honcho Alessandro Tedeschi (aka Netherworld), as well as to cherish the depths of Jökel, my exclusive listening object for a couple of days.
In itself, this does not appear as a work where the compositional chisel has played a relevant role, although Levander has surely spent a lot of time on it. The five tracks are most notable for the powerful presence they convey (speakers are strongly recommended) and for their auras of ominous overtones perfectly matching the leaden sky of these afternoons. Inspired by the apprehension for a terrible reality – the progressive shrinking of glaciers, seemingly indicating the end of the planet’s biorhythms as we know them – these impenetrable soundscapes, frequently distinguished by fuscous rumbling, remote echoes and noises of uncertain origin, will undeniably affect listeners immersed in doubt and uncertainty. When fully fledged drones take over (“Yta” is the album’s top, for this reviewer), one can’t help but associate the aural imagery to that of Thomas Köner at his best.
A praiseworthy record in an overcrowded sector, by an artist whose attention to look is directly proportional to his sensitivity in sonically rendering flashes of awareness, Jökel works fine as an active soundtrack as well. When a disc is repeatedly spun across 48 hours, it is usually a good sign.