While you and I might say “drone and occasional noise”, Sindre Bjerga calls his music “cassette player drones and kitchen sink psychedelia”. Which does sound better and actually captures the essence of his art more accurately. He is a mercurial figure, constantly on tour and with a ginormous discography for someone who only began recording in 2003, many of its entries recorded live, like this one. His collaborations with fellow Norwegian Jan-M. Iversen are legion, but Iversen is but one of many like-minded artists with whom he has worked. Often releasing on very small CDR and cassette labels, he and his circle have deftly avoided becoming household names while having a huge effect on the genre itself.
If I am completely up to date, “Songs of Failure” is his most recent solo release, and its two eighteen-minute sections would serve as an excellent primer for anyone unfamiliar with his work. The first untitled track unfolds like a temple opening its doors to worshipers, only to find a choir of plasma welders and metal lathes inside, screaming blades shearing off into echo. With the tinkling of the smallest bells, the second pushes dark ambient to the very edge of a great, sucking black hole, pulling at his monochrome rainbow as he struggles to maintain his grasp on it.