Somnambule - Writing About Music

Supersilent ~ 6

Like a Giorgio Moroder score for a 70s horror film. Doesn’t sound like synthesizer music of the last fifteen years, more like they took a left turn at Tomita or Vangelis. Sort of. There’s a mellotron lurking in there as well, I’m sure of it. 6.1 is spooky and disruptive and serene and threatening. It doesn’t sound like any free improv I’ve heard lately (Supersilent don’t precompose anything). Great clattering, hollowed-out drumming in the background.

Gorgeous, mellifluous tones. Arve Henriksen’s trumpet comes on at times like a bansurai flute, like Jon Hassell. There’s an undertow of nordic rather than raga though. 6.2 is a threnody - contemplative, measured and stately in progress.

Pitter-patter, like shards of broken glass being swept up, note clusters jabbed like Miles Davis played his 70s organ (from one trumpet master to another)… in fact 6.3 does recall He Loved Him Madly from Get Up With It. Bass stalks like Bela Lugosi’s shadow cast large on a moonlit wall. Mood is pensive bordering on frightened/haunted. Is Nosferatu Supersilent’s favourite film? Eight minutes in and 6.3 is rent by a drumroll like a clap of thunder and the atmosphere ratchets up massively before eventually fading out.

Starts out with a satisfied, open, almost hopeful aspect, sounds suspiciously like there’s a guitar being played which I can’t recall appearing on previous Supersilent recordings. Gradual buildup to tidalwave proportions of sound which come on like a warmhearted eulogy.

Like the anodised metal of a 1950s-envisaged spaceship. Like the slipstream of that craft as it forges through the atmosphere. The sound of new speeds attained.

Arve sings in a supernatural, keening voice accompanied by distorting piano. He or another band member whistles while a chill synthwind blows. Becalmed and closing.

6 tracks for Supersilent 6. Where 7 goes I’ll follow.
Colin Buttimer
February 2003
Published by the BBC