In 2006 myskox was learning to farm the land and live without money, building shelters and creating community in the forest outside a small alternative village in middle Scandinavia. After that he moved out to a semi-abandoned farm with two friends and that winter found a pedal-harmonium.
The pedal-harmonium reignited his love for making music and the results of that are evident on his release astral wandr. These recording took place from 2007 to 2011 and solely revolve around the pedal-harmonium.
This album could've worked as one long track or broken up into many. Myskox choose to break up the sounds of pedal-harmonium into eight tracks. The pedal-harmonium creates textures and tones that often emit a warm glow of melancholy. Even more particular is the sense of isolation and loneliness that is translated through the sounds. That being said there is also a sense of serenity, tranquility and even enlightenment when listening to the music.
Up first is “viskapa” which slowly pulsates and the sounds of the air itself being played through a pedal almost sounds as if the instrument in breathing. “Viskapa” serves as more of a short intro that transitions into “genome-ljudr.” “Genome-ljudr” slowly builds as it progresses with brighter tones that give you a tinge of hope against the melancholy. Other songs like “re sa ga” are manipulated with a modulation which give it a psychedelic feel while “finndin' lystrkvast” is perhaps the most melancholy and thought provoking piece on the album.
Both “vi-laat oss” and “om anda wa” utilize a technique that give the instrument a more percussive feel that pushes the pulsating into fast increments of silence and sound. The closer “rest i transparence” is the one anomaly that features some sort of vocals but perhaps not what you expect. I can’t tell if the vocals are backwards or what but is something that you just need to hear.
There aren’t too many albums that revolve around the possibilities of the pedal-harmonium. For that reason alone I can easily recommend spending sometime with astral wandr. The album offers some lush soundscapes that are not to be missed.
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