Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ólafur Arnalds, Eulogy For Evolution

Iceland, 2007.

"Icelandic composer and multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds is bound to find himself met with comparisons to his fellow countryman Johánn Johánnsson: Arnalds' highly cinematic approach has that same instantly digestible quality that Johánnsson, and for that matter Max Richter, are able to tap into. After its initial string swells, the sweetly sorrowful opener '0040' starts to sound vaguely reminiscent of the mournful piano music at the end of the '70s Incredible Hulk movies, and that certainly isn't intended as a jibe, it's lovely stuff, if rather dramatised. The ensuing pieces maintain this wistful, downbeat sound, riffing on various permutations of string and piano arrangement, only for Arnalds to whip the rug from under your feet with the brash guitar distortion of closer '3704/3837' which features some seriously histrionic quiet-loud post-rock action, only for all the drums and fuzz to crumble away abruptly for the lonesome, organ-fuelled coda. Gorgeous."


1. 0040
2. 0048/0729
3. 0952
4. 1440
5. 1953
6. 3055
7. 3326
8. 3704/3837


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