SMALLTOWN supersound


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Edition of 300 copies, includes a download of the album dropped to your account. Produced by Lasse Marhaug, mastered by Helge Sten, Artwork by Joke Leonare & Pedro Ramos

Over almost three decades of activity, Marhaug has carved out notoriety as a solo performer, a prolific collaborator (working with everyone from Sunn O))) to Jim O'Rourke) and as a busy producer, who's notched up credits on some of the most striking-sounding albums of the last few years. This new album was created as a swan song for the infamous Oslo studio that he's inhabited for 17 years, prior to his move back to the Arctic Circle where he originally came from. Recorded over a 14-month period and painstakingly edited from hours upon hours of material, it might just be the most impressive, moving record we’ve heard from him so far.

 The interplay between piercing softness and deafening noise is the key to "Context", displaying a philosophy Marhaug has been exploring for years. Few other artists are able to balance chaos and harmony with such ease; Marhaug does it without grandstanding, it's music that sounds as simultaneously beautiful and as daunting as the Arctic landscape he's returning to. At any moment a sound can be alluring or treacherous, like the frozen sun reflecting on a snowy mountaintop. Marhaug's deftness with rhythm and bass emerges on 'Context 3', as he pairs Vainio-esque low-end pulses with crumpled noise and widescreen tones; as disquieting music-box chimes absorbed into the blasted soundscape on 'Context 5', while we're thrust into the freezing cold on 'Context 6', subjected to punctuating gusts of white noise and trapped string loops.