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CD Feature/ Moljebka Pvsle: "Driftsond"

img  Tobias

Many divide music into two camps: Firstly, harmonic music based either on playing with the relations between keys or on discussing these relations by tearing them down. And secondly, sound art, which deals with noise outside of theoretical contexts. Mathias Josefson doesn’t fit in with any of them.

Even though the specific characteristics of the sounds used in a track are important to him, he doesn’t develop his pieces through them. And while he accepts harmony as such, it bears no direct relevance to his oeuvre. “Driftsond” takes a third path, which many will refer to as “minimal”, but which really bases on a different understanding of its underlying factors.

Josefson’s music is essentialy tonal. Not in the classical meaning of the word, but in the sense that it remains on a single note throughout and explores its nature through subtle or drastic variations. Where others expanded the root to chords, Josefson sees it as a means in itself. Where changes occured and patterns formed, he replaces them with continuation. Vice versa, the stability of the drone mantra is substituted for an inner cosmos of stirring movement and infinite possibilities and potentials.

All four tracks on “Driftsond” start from quietude and with the tone in a purified state. Slowly, it grows, takes on different shades, contrasts, outlines and associations. Sometimes, it escalates into a furious forte. But mostly, arrangements are marked by a crescendo of timbres, like adding more and more layers of paint to a single stroke of paint on a blank canvas, until it constitutes a multicolored sheet of intense irridescence.

Rhythm and concrete noises would be distractions in this world, which impresses exactly because of its vast reduction, as if the void were taking on shape for a few seconds in the span of eternity. At the core of progress now lies nothing but oscillation – the project’s name has obviously been chosen for a good reason. Each pad vibrates at a different speed and temper, the conjunction of the plates sends sparks flying from the friction areas and creates a torturing tension within a music way off regular forms of development.

Sometimes an overtone-octave turns up, creating the floating sensation one knows from fellow drone builders or from meditative chants. The relatively short “Genjo”, for example, uses pitch as an additional element to raise the pressure. But mostly, the tracks stay calm and composed on the outside, while their organs twitch and burn like a powerful combustion engine.

One doesn’t need to see“Driftsond” as an essentially radically different or even revolutionary record. After all, its methods have been used before. And yet, the consistency with which Mathias Josefson pushes his vision brands this as a clear alternative to traditional models.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Moljebka Pvlse/Mathias Josefson
Homepage: Gears of Sand Records

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