Bára Gísladóttir; Skúli Sverrisson
Sono Luminus SLE 70020 (sonoluminus.com)
The duo of Icelandic bass players Bára Gísladóttir and Skúli Sverrisson has documented their finely tuned working relationship with Caeli. Deep explorations of sounds from Gísladóttir’s double bass are sculpted by Sverrisson’s skillful mastery of the electric version of the instrument, shaded by the subtle blues and greys of his electronics. Long expansive bowed scrapes are pushed to the edge, just hanging on before bubbling over to the world of overtones and edgy depths of deep space.
This music is definitely not for everyone, but I found the work expressive and beautiful. More along the lines of a Deep Listening experience, it is enigmatically shy of information either on the album or the press kit, so I am going to assume they are improvisations curated and finely edited to their current state. Caeli is exquisite in its expression of layered textural nuances created between the partnership of the acoustic double bass and the electric bass and processing. This is an album that is at times darkly overbearing while simultaneously free and endless; it is without borders, almost frightening in the way one might dream about falling off the edge of a flat Earth or losing sight of the mothership while floating in space. The length of the double album only enhances the endlessness.
With each track delicately balanced and compositionally complete, this is an album for those who are into darkly cinematic ambient sounds. Put on some good headphones, sit in the dark and enjoy the ride.