I Remember (translations of “Mørketid”)
Slow and oozing, Bvdub captures a sound that could be what a glacier sounds like to Mother Earth. But is it a stand-alone musical genre, like dubstep or synthpop? The Internet offers little aid to this navel-searching question, but in this “translation” of Alessandro Tedeschi’s Mørketid, Bvdub achieves the chilled-out calm of its previous project, The Art of Dying Alone.
Opening the collection is “This Place Has Known Nothing But Sadness.” It is a melancholy composition, looped voices call back and forth, a beat pulses as slowly as the lunar tides, and a gentle hiss recalls the sound of icy rain on a smooth sea. There’s nary a silence as we slide into “We Said Forever” – the icy rain has moved north and a second loop repeats a chord progression slowly behind an iceberg. It is as if a polar bear is learning guitar from a book he recovered from a frozen Arctic explorer. These are long, long cuts; it takes us half an hour to get this far. The premise of long, slow musical narration carries and cuts to “Would It Be the Same,” which somehow mixes a guitar string with a piano to create a short melody that stands behind a layer of synth melodies – some slowly drifting, some strolling at a moderate pace, and all subservient to sampled and re-sampled human voices. These people had a soul once a long time ago, but now they are divided between so many tracks they’ve lost their humanity and become granular ice pellets.
Global warming be damned, this record evokes cold better than The Resident’s Eskimo.
Bvdub is principally Brock Van Wey, a Dutchman who has set up shop in China. It’s the happening place, and I’d love to know what the Chinese think of this chilled-out ambience.