Marcus Fjellström’s Schattenspieler is somber, sometimes wispy, mostly bereft of tonal color. Essentially, it’s the soundtrack to some old farmhouse in some bleak countryside. The artist himself is, like many experimental composers [see: Tim Hecker; Aidan Baker; Christian Fennesz] more of an academic persona. These are the folk who consider psychoacoustics, who look more to purposed atmosphere than tuneful ambiance. What spoke to me most throughout Schattenspieler is how very much I wanted the album to have the same texture and color, the same analog sound found throughout the work of Boards of Canada. But it doesn’t; rather—it shan’t. There’s too much “art” to perceive in woefully named tracks like “Antichrist Architecture Management” or “Noir Revisited”. This is an interesting listen, but perhaps too synthetic to be good. Save it for an early-morning winter drive. Don’t fall asleep.
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