Never judge a book (or an album ) by its cover they say. First off the accompanying artwork for Danish Electronic Artist Jannick Schou‘s When Life Mirrors Itself is inspiring and beautiful and gives some clues to the delights awaiting the listener.
On first inspection the track listing here is nothing if not intriguing- “untitled 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,”. Minimal to say the least so having judged the album by the cover I was expecting the unexpected.
It is fair to say that ambient electronic drones and soundscapes are not everyones cup of tea and you probably wouldn’t choose this creation to kick off your Saturday night but you may well end the night chilling to this slice of experimental musical art.
Schou is obviously a master in his field. Each of these creations, on first listen, drift aimlessly along with no apparent shape form or direction, only with more attentive listening do the harmonious processed pianos and tapes, gentle pulses and tones become more obvious. Anyone who has studied Mark Rothko‘s artworks, especially his Black Series, will recognise that subtle tones only become visible with a relaxed and meditive scrutiny and so it it with this album.
Not for Schou, the pulses and beats of Tangerine Dream or the inventive meanderings of The Boards of Canada -here the echoes of ambient master Steve Roach sliver from the loudspeakers. The mandate is simple. Slabs of tone poetry, deep and cavernous, seem imported from deep space and are ready to transport you away. As each track unfolds a dark yet harmonious sonic landscape evolves for the listener. Layers of sound interplay with low level noise and half-hidden suggestions .
Subtle and dark this album is, according to the composer, made for midnight contemplation. Preferably under a full moon. Not for everyone I guess but well worth investigating….
Jannick Schou Bandcamp. Soundcloud. Facebook.