The Unexplained Sounds Group is back with another of its sound mapping series, this time focusing on Scandanavia. Since the term “electronic music” can mean different things to different people, it is important to point out that this compilation largely comprises compositions influenced by the Kosmiche music of the 1970s, experimental classical, and ambient music. Some similarities could also be found with more recent electronic artists such as Lustmord, Steve Roach, and Robert Rich, especially their 1990s output. Unlike some of the label’s other releases, the emphasis here is not squarely on the dark ambient genre, but instead on musical cousins thereof.
The pieces herein were culled from two of the label’s previous releases, Scandinavian Experimental Underground 015 Survey and Northern Lights – the Scandinavian Experimental 016 Survey. So all of this material is at least five years old. Nonetheless, Unexplained Sounds has taken the opportunity to put selected tracks out as a 2CD set.
Regarding the music itself, the listener will find no shortage of synthesized drones and washes, sequenced rhythms (with very little percussion), and plenty of cosmic sounds. There is an unabashedly retro feel to these recordings, though each remains experimental in its own fashion. For example, Havdis provides gently floating sequenced patterns accompanied by airy waves. In contrast, Dödsapparaten’s lengthy track is a pastiche of quiet, static-laden drones, crossing over into dark moodiness. Andreas Karperyd differs from both of these approaches with a palette of synthesized and cinematic sounds that provides rhythms grounding a set of melodic progressions.
Yet another strong recommendation for a geographic compilation coming from this label.