Jonas Jensen's ''Aftenlandet'' is not an unique composition or one that sets, for a fact, an artist apart from others. But the interesting thing about it is that it doesn't slot him in the homogeneous wide category of shy experimental music either.
It doesn't stand out in a memorable way and, probably, it won't stick with you for too long after giving it its first auditions. However, if you are one of the music diggers who get dark circles under their eyes throughout sleepless nights of challenging searching at high levels of difficulty and you tend to find yourself elated by obscure finds with a subtle substance of particularity, this release will intrigue.
By the way, the album is a vinyl only release, making it a matter of risk assuming trust and old fashioned courage to get your hands (and ears) on it. As a digital preview, there's only the linked misleading quality recording of side A on Vimeo. This choice doesn't make things any easier for Jensen to reach listeners, so I can only acknowledge the intention of creating a fairly intimate bond between the artist, the art and the receiver, which gives a plus to the whole creation.
I wish I could avoid being so mindlessly bent on comparing side A and side B when I get the chance to, but frankly I'm far from achieving this goal of mine. ''Aftenlandet III'' crowns side A especially since it comes after the brutal genre killer ''Aftelandet II''. It is an emotionally charged, mellow melody wrapped in the dusky cover that gives the entire album its theme. Out of all the tracks, it is distinct due to the soft sweetness that saves the whole piece from being a pessimistic one.
Side B evolves from a distant interrupted drone sound into a sharper, more threatening noise which reminds of the dominant feeling in falling dreams and ends up with a childish keyboard play followed by its own echoes as well as a sample of dingy beats that fade symmetrically back into the beginning of ''Aftenlandet VI''.
Listening to ''Aftenlandet'' from different perspectives is the catchy thing about it. It seems as if under the layers of rather ordinary low fi sounds, something daring and remarkably skillful is hidden. Like a light shining from the bottom of a sandy lake. From another angle, it is the muffled hum occupying an extensive part of tracks like the second one on side A that makes it noteworthy.
Considering that Jensen is part of the Danish sound art trio named Wulkan, a harsh noise project which encounters the listener with an uncouth demeanor, ''Aftenlandet'' can be viewed as a path he took to a polished sound.
"The Occident (Aftenlandet) understands itself as being in a continuous progression. In this forward going movement it is led towards heights characterized by enormous complexity and depths defined by compact simplicity. Its needs accumulate, its pleasure happens in the need for development and progression. It senses itself as itself, as its desire intensifies it adds pressure. The climax of the curve does not top. The rise passes as a discharge into the decline. A sliding unconscious, uncontrollable event. The Occident is lost in the twilight of its own endeavors. It crumbles, falls and fades. During the phase-out the new slowly occurs. Merged and parallel it grows and deteriorates.
The mirror image of The Occident tones forward. The distortion suits its need for self-righteousness. The story of the abrupt necessity covers the continual and monotone. It splits culture and nature and thus avoids relating to the absence of impetus. Quivering it is tempted by the dramatic. From the shadows step real occurrences. They lay the foundation for the future. Sweetness is introduced. The colourful defense of The Occident becomes norm."
via Peinture et Sculpture
Tracklist:A1. Aftenlandet I
A2. Aftenlandet II
A3. Aftenlandet III
A4. Aftenlandet IV
A5. Aftenlandet V
B1. Aftenlandet VI
B2. Aftenlandet VII
B3. Aftenlandet VIII
B4. Aftenlandet IX