It goes without saying that any new release from the Miasmah imprint is worthy of attention, and Fredrik Ness Sevendal's FNS recording is no exception in that regard. What is different is the style of music that dominates the Oslo-based musician's set. His lo-fi blend of psych-folk and noise-rock—for want of a better way of putting it—distances itself to some small degree from the dark ambient style favoured by some of his label brethren.

Though Sevendal does apply a generous number of production treatments to “Silence To Say Hello,” it remains fundamentally a pysch-folk setting heavy on acoustic instrumentation, specifically acoustic guitars and glockenspiels. Yes, electric guitars hover atmospherically too but the material is nevertheless predominantly acoustic. There's a raga-like quality to the track also as Sevendal repeats the guitar patterns so insistently they grow ever more entrancing as the minutes tick by. A similar effect is achieved during “Wooden Leg” when the slow burn of electric guitars bleeds behind a front-line of acoustic strums and wordless vocals (by Inga-Lill Farstad). Backwards vocal treatments immediately establish the trippy character of “Dream,” a vibe perpetuated thereafter by hazy guitar motifs and dive-bombing synth flares, while the dozen minutes of “Flaggermusvingers Vift I Dimmet” gives Sevendal all kinds of time to work up peyote magic and that he does with a tumultuous blaze of guitar distortion. The collection's an astral traveler for sure: propelled by cloudy tonal masses of glissandi-like character, “Sappélur” unspools like a slow-motion spiral through the cosmos, and the haunting space drone “I Think She's Asleep” finds twanging electric guitars shuddering across the upper spheres. By album's end, it's clear that though Sevendal may not plunge as deeply into Hades as other Miasmah artists, his brand of psych-folk is haunted enough to make his inclusion on the label seem perfectly fitting.

April 2010