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Stormhat 

Vindspejl (CDR)

>A stormhat is not a hat you wear during a storm, but means monk's cowl and behind the musical project with that name we find one Peter Bach Nicolaisen from Denmark. He is associated with the Krabbesholm School of Art and Architecture Design, who released a 3"CD from him. What 'Vindspejl' means I don't know, but I assume something like 'wind arrow' and it brings us straight away to the main interest for Nicolaisen, being field recordings. These are widely treated inside the computer and create a work that falls in the microsound world. Carefully cracking about, drones created from stale wind recordings, bass sounds from earthly activities: all the usual suspects are there. As such it's absolutely nothing new under the sun of microsound, but Stormhat does a fine job. None of the eight tracks are weak by any standards, perhaps sometimes a bit interchangeable, but it's produced with care and style. That is sometimes enough. (FdW, Vital #527)

>A hot summer day in June finds me listening intently to a recording by Denmark’s Peter Bach Nicolaisen, recording under the name Stormhat. Surrounded as I am by the idyllic trappings of a semi-rural soundscape, a haphazard, yet utterly coherent melange of birdsong, fused with rush hour traffic, the gentle swoosh of trees, and a dusting of distant building work, I am sometimes at odds with what is occurring outside of my window, and what is coming out of the speakers of my hi-fi – a kind of skewed simulacra rendered in sound .“Vindspejl” elegantly bestrides the twin disciplines of location recording, and electronic/digital composition, at once positioning itself somewhere between the visceral minimalism of Steinbruchel, and the organic soundscaping sensibilities of, say Koji Marutani, or Chris Watson. But this is not to say that Stormhat does not have his own unique signature. Tracks like the haunting, bristling 'Night of Mirrors', or the glistening, 'A Dusty Summer Morning', with lustrous microsonic instrumentation occasionally and surprisingly perforated by the sound of birdsong (I genuinely had to turn the sound down in order to check that this was on the recording) leave me spellbound. Nicolaisen has a great ear, and a mastery of the art of creating tension and resolve, weaving shards of expansive electronics, digital manipulation, and oftentimes startling and idiosyncratic location recordings together to form a thing of beauty and restraint.The brevity of the press release, and the low budget aesthetic of the CD’s hand made cover do little justice to the quality of the recordings presented here, and the label’s inevitable, yet ultimately redundant description of the album’s parallel with the early ambient work of Brian Eno is disappointing, and left me questioning how and where they would like this recording marketed. Eno’s name has all too often drawn vague comparisons from the most unlikely of sources in a vain effort to attract the attention of the now super saturated “ambient” scene – perhaps signifying that ambient music is now confronted with the conundrum of who (in the 21st Century) should take on the mantle of the new “Godfather of Ambience” Stormhat deserves to be heard by the faithful, discerning adherents of microsonics, and minimalism, as befits labels such as Mille Plateaux, Line, or Non Visual Objects, and with continued effort, and a corpus of work with the character and craftsmanship of “Vindspejl”, will hopefully gain considerably wider recognition.  [Our intrepid reviewer needs to relax. My reference to Eno's "On Land" was in reference to the work's vivid sense of place. This is what I enjoy most about Peter's music. jdg] (auralpressure)

>Amidst an abundant batch of useless, trash bin-destined electronica discs that I had to listen to in recent months, this CD by Danish sound artist Peter Bach Nicolaisen (an associate of the Krabbesholm School of Art and Architecture), which comes in a limited edition of 100 copies in orange rice paper, truly stands out as an intelligently conceived product, featuring a nicely biotic geometry of synthetic emissions, polite disturbances and field recordings which seem tailor made for Stormhat's general artistic concept. Cohort's boss John Gore writes that sometimes "Vindspejl" might recall early ambient albums by Brian Eno, "On Land" in particular; I agree only on a fraction of this affirmation, that relative to some of the chiaroscuro strokes of a track like "The darkness surrounding the place". Everything else is all Nicolaisen: a concoction of brilliant glow and organic life made even more appealing by gentle kisses of frail indecision and pale colours. The whole sounds fresh, profound and technically advanced; in my book, Stormhat is one of the names to follow in this area from now on. (Touching Extremes)

 

 

 

 

 

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