six inches of silver from sindre bjerga

January 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Sindre Bjerga – Misdirection (3″ CD-r, edition of 50, and download, Sheepscar Light Industrial, SLI.014)

Sindre Bjerga – Black Paper Wings (3″ CD-r, LF Records, LF030)

Sheepscar Light Industrial - Misdirection - coversindre bjerga - black paper wings

There was a joke, told back in the 1980s, that any tape left long enough in the glove compartment of a car would turn into Greatest Hits by Queen.  Readers old enough to remember this ubiquity will be cracking a wry smile, I hope.  The contemporary no-audience underground equivalent would be: any pile of blank CD-rs left near a lap-top long enough will mutate into a limited edition release by Sindre Bjerga…

Harsh?  I don’t mean it to be – just a little affectionate fun had at the expense of Sindre’s mind-boggling productivity.  The chap sure is prolific.  Nowt wrong with that in principle, of course: he is clearly a force for the good, a paragon of the noise underground, and I am glad whenever any expression of his ongoing project arrives at Midwich Mansions.  With a back catalogue so large and varied it is inevitable that not every release will appeal to every punter but I’ve found Sindre’s quality control to be amazingly trustworthy given his output.

What remains consistent from one release to the next is a sense of personality.  Whatever sub-sub-sub genre he happens to be working in – space-drone, gurglecore, dictaphonics, others of his own devising – he imbues it with an engaging, informing intelligence.  Playful, unafraid to meander, yet always attentive, thought through and sharp when it needs to be.  The two releases above, both on 3″ CD-rs, the latter a live recording, exhibit this ‘sindreness’ in spades.  Allow me to tell you a story…

Misdirection is the journey to the facility.  It starts with a bone-shaking clatter as you leave the compound, but the solid tyres of the vehicle are untroubled by the debris cracking and shattering beneath their tread.  Then it is out into the storm.  Great gales shift sand dunes as if they were waves on the ocean.

They’d laughed at you earlier as you’d fitted a microphone to the outside of the vehicle.  “The silence in the cab unnerves me,” you’d replied with a shrug.  Now you turn it on and listen to the scouring ebb and flow until the mic gives out, blasted to a nub.

Black Paper Wings begins at the doors of the facility.  The sound of the descent in the lift segues seamlessly into the oppressive, surprisingly loud roar of the life support systems down here.  Soon you are ushered into a nondescript room and suddenly all that separates you from the creature you came to see is a two-way mirror.

It is finishing its dinner.  An impossibly wide mouth takes unexpectedly dainty bites from lumps of native flora and fauna, simply prepared.  Once finished it picks up a sliver of chitin and uses it to clean between its rows of pin sharp teeth.

It picks up its ‘book’.  You know from your notes that it weighs 50 kilos but it tosses it across the table as if it were a cheap paperback.  You know this is some kind of autobiography: a log of dreams, memories, pictures, documents.  The pages are sheets of metal that crinkle like tin foil when turned but always lay glass-flat.  Sounds and pictures come alive at the creature’s touch.

The book has fallen open towards the end and the creature starts examining, for the millionth time, the events leading to its capture and incarceration.  It triggers samples of distorted conversation, surveillance film.  A fury starts to engulf it as it nears that page, its hissing roar shaking the mirror in its reinforced frame.  And then it stops, unable to bring itself to go any further.

Instead it flicks back to the opening chapters: a happy time playing with siblings, having fun impersonating humans.  It seems deflated.  It plays snippets of audio at random, like a tired child pulling the string of a talking doll.  It sweeps its dinner plates to the floor, just to hear them ring, chime and clatter.

Finally it turns to the mirror and pulls itself upright.  It knows you are there, of course, and it begins to speak.  Its language is one of pops, clicks, gurgles and squeaking whines.  ‘What is it saying?’ you think, ‘what does it want?’ and, with all its major sensory organs straining in your direction, you are reminded of a quote from a book you once read:

…a ghost desires only one thing: to live again.

LF Records

Sheepscar Light Industrial

More from Sindre

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