Music

Lindstrøm's 'On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever' Free Floats Clear of Place and Time

Photo: Lin Stensrud / Courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR

Each listen of Lindstrøm's On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever reveals a fresh, sensory experience. Each track provides the soundtrack to whatever new feeling, memory, or experience you want.

On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever
Lindstrøm

Smalltown Supersound

In a dazzling career that has taken in everything from disco-pop (Real Life Is No Cool), prog (Six Cups of Rebel) to the genre-bending (It's Alright Between Us As It Is), it's fair to say that Norwegian producer, Lindstrøm has never been one to park himself in the same spot for too long. It will come as little surprise then, that his latest effort finds him inhabiting a vastly different space altogether.

The four-track On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever, is comprised largely of extended ambient pieces all on vintage, analogue synths that come over like one-take recordings with no obvious edits or overdubs. The result is four relatively weightless, amorphous tracks that seem to take on new forms with each fresh listen.

"On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever" shows off his army of synths to wondrous effect. It's a beatless, ambient piece with low, wah synths that drop in and out of view. There is a gentle, flowing grace to the synth-led soundscapes as he delicately manipulates the instrument to evoke a bold exploration of space. However, as the track floats on, Lindstrøm experiments with more avant-garde, improvised sounding synth runs as he lets his imagination run wild.

Very quickly, it becomes apparent that there is a profound sense of freedom in these songs, as Lindstrøm follows his musical instincts to previously unexplored sonic spaces. Uninhibited by notions of traditional song structure, he is free to go where ever the mood and the music takes him, like embarking on an epic journey with no map.

"Really Deep Snow" ups the tempo slightly with a shower of quickening synths backed by a steady, ticking beat. Rather aptly, it evokes the feeling of a winter landscape with the shivering piano and xylophone figures that appear like a fresh flurry of snow. For the most part, it is a moving, evocative piece that conjures up a myriad of vivid images. That is until the mood is broken slightly towards the end of the piece, as discordant synth lines appear like hairline fractures on a painting of a wintry scene.

On "Swing Low Sweet LFO", melodies emerge, slowly and subtly with Lindstrøm creating a very definite mood and seemingly doing his damndest not to break the spell. It's a track that inspires engagement but not necessarily with the music itself. Rather it is there to conjure up thoughts and feelings that remove you from any sense of time or place. As the acoustic cello and violin ebb and flow, it feels as if the listener is actively encouraged to drift in and out, allowing the music to nestle between the subconscious and conscious.

"As If No One Is Here" is a little underwhelming when compared with what precedes it. The drum machine pre-set beat sounds a little cheap and rudimentary next to the expensive hardware on show. In all honesty, it can all become a little distracting. So when it does finally slink away, the song becomes a much more interesting piece with Lindstrøm teasing rumbling sounds from the synths like the roll of distant thunder.

On each new listening, each track on On a Clear Day I Can See You Forever offers a fresh, sensory experience. The subtle, barely-there melodies never quite catch, with little there that sticks in the head. That is meant as a compliment as each track provides the soundtrack to whatever new feeling, memory, or experience you want it to and in turn, dislocates it from place and time. Where Lindstrøm decides to travel to next is anyone's guess.

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